Australia Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development proposed (20-Sep-2017) to amend the air navigation regulations for Melbourne Essendon Airport to reduce aircraft noise during curfew hours by limiting operations to aircraft with less than 90EPNdb noise level on arrivals, instead of aircraft type. These regulations exempt emergency services. The 90EPNdb noise limit is currently only met by the newer jet models. Proposed amendments include:
- Lifting the permitted weight limit for jet aircraft from 45,000kgs to 55,000kgs for operators during non-curfew hours;
- Removing the ability of non-emergency helicopters and propeller driven aircraft to operate during the curfew;
- Allowing jet aircraft which meet strict noise criteria to land during curfew period.
CEO Chris Cowan commented: “We believe the changes will result in less noise and fewer aircraft movements… We have easily the biggest corporate jet fleet in Australia based here. We have proposed really tight cap on numbers and noise to accommodate the genuine unavoidable late night arrivals from often different time zones. The noise limit encourages a quieter fleet here over time if the operators see benefit in greater flexibility during curfew”. The proposal is open for public consultation until 10-Oct-2017. [more – original PR]