The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Airport Noise Complainers

Old 31st Jan 2014, 03:35
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Age: 54
Posts: 425
Some years ago I lived in Bundeena to the South of Sydney. When they changed the flight paths around Sydney, some rabble-rousers letter boxed the neighbourhood asking people to call the airport noise hotline (number supplied)and complain. This was in spite of the fact that the new DEP/ARR routes took aircraft away from the suburb! Their notice also contained a statement that when something like: "Even if the aircraft is not flying overhead, call and complain anyway. It's the only way that we will get the airport closed for good". This led me to think that it wasn't locals, but probably some activist group from the inner-city.The same people probably complain about 'chemtrails' and immunisation.
Anthill is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 04:29
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sydney
Age: 39
Posts: 265
Yes, there are genuine complaints because there has been a change in noise levels and it may be genuinely disturbing to your life. On the other side are the muppets like that Kellyville idiot who complain for some sort of mental masturbation or people who move next to a 100 year old brewery and are surprised that trucks perform deliveries to it.

I live two suburbs over from Kellyville and while you can hear aircraft flying over, you would generally only notice them if everything else was dead silent or you specifically listened out for it. There is no way it is disturbing and certainly not when inside a house. The only time I have had real noise was C-17s doing some circuits over the house and that has only ever been at mid afternoon (and I was running outside to snap photos anyway).

The zero tolerance thing is right though - how many current problems in society would are caused because people just won't let things that don't matter slide.
SgtBundy is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 09:57
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 379
Council has no jurisdiction of anything 1 metre or more above ground not supported by anything other than air.

That is ASA and CASA territory.

Without a Commonwealth legislation protecting airfields they can all be shut down if complainants get smart, rather than just emotional. It just depends on how much they want to throw at it and how the courts determine which law is more to the societies benefit than the other...

just my 2c
sprocket check is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 10:30
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,649
they can all be shut down if complainants get smart
Not so much.

Firstly, nearly all airports are protected by "pre-existing use" rights. Secondly, councils (despite what they pretend to have) actually have little power. Its with the State Governments.

And private individuals have the same right to "garage" an aircraft on their land as a car. This is untested here (because it hasn't needed to be tested) but the same legal precedent that allows you to park a car on your home protects your right to park an aircraft on your land.

The greatest threat is weak airport owners and property values.
Old Akro is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 11:54
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: WA
Posts: 1,220
How about this for a noise restricted operating environment. Airport management and the shire are being held to ransom by a very small but noisy band of serial complainers.
The airport was built by funding from the WA govt, that is, our taxes and you have to operate in whisper quiet mode.


1. Large ACFT ABV F50 use turning nodes at RWY ends, MNM speed, MAX radius.
2. Flight training not AVBL (including LDG, TKOF, TGL). Contact AD Manager for further
3.1 EMERG Services unrestricted.
3.2 Single ENG ACFT BLW 2000KG not exceeding 65dB(A) unrestricted.
3.3 General Aviation 0700-1900 local subject to not exceeding 85dB(A).
3.4 Open and closed CHTR ACFT 0600-2100 local subject to not exceeding 85dB(A) - APV
3.5 RPT 0600-2300 local subject to not exceeding 85dB(A) - APV RQ.
3.6 Flight training RQ APV all ACFT.
4. TKOF and landing on grass strip not permitted.
YPJT is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 12:07
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,804
Re noise complaints. I was in Head Office DCA Melbourne in the late Sixties when noise complaints were continually annoying a local Member of Parliament whose electorate was under the Sydney 07 ILS flight path.

In those days the ICAO standard ILS was set at about 2.5 to 2.75 degrees. My boss Lloyd Milne (former wartime Hudson pilot) was told by his boss Sir Donald Anderson (via the chain of command of course) to suggest a solution. After all it was a political issue. Lloyd scratched his head and came up with the idea to increase the glide slope angle up to three degrees which approached the upper limit for a jet transport approach without increasing the rate of descent too much. The theory being three degrees would mean a steeper angle of approach, therefore less power and less noise foot print. I think it added about an extra 150 feet to the outer marker crossing height four miles out.

The local Member for the Outer Marker (I think it was Padstow) constituency was pleased about that idea, even though we didn't tell him it made no practical difference to noise levels. But he could tell the great unwashed in that area that he had acted to fix the problem. It was a real vote getter which is what it was all about in the first instance.

So for weeks to come we flogged the DCA Flying Unit DC3 VH-CAN and F27 navaid calibration aircraft down the 07 ILS having got the techs to jack up the glide path to three degrees. We did Sydney 16 ILS as well.

The idea took on and next we knew the order came down the line to jack up all the Australian ILS from 2.5 degrees to three degrees. That took a lot of traveling between the major airports of Australia including Darwin. ICAO heard about all this and thought it was a splendid way of reducing noise footprints.

Eventually three degrees slope became the standard we have today. You can thank the Labor Member for Padstow for that. It was all a bit of a wank but it fooled most people I think. Whether the number of complaints reduced I have no idea. But something was seen to be done and that was the main thing. The unintended consequences however proved time consuming and expensive in terms of time and money.

You see, it was considered a bit untidy to leave the T-VASIS all over Australia at 2.5 degrees and the ILS at 3 degrees. So we loaded the DC3 and F27 with our theodolites, insect spray, wide floppy hats with corks and sunscreen and even snake bite outfits, and flew all over Australia to recalibrate the numerous T-VASIS to three degrees.
Centaurus is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2014, 13:41
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 209
Council has no jurisdiction of anything 1 metre or more above ground not supported by anything other than air.

That is ASA and CASA territory.
Thanks sprocket - if that is gospel then the local council would be hard pressed to fine people for flying over their built up areas at 1000' - correct?

Many ERSA noise abatement procedures contain paras such as 'avoid noise sensitive area to NW(or somesuch) of AD.' It is most unusual IMHO to find any that say 'residential areas are to be avoided at all times', and then propose a system of fines if said ERSA rule is breached because of a noise complaint.
I hope this entry is a case of one council person introducing the para without realising the implications, and another person for trying to enforce it.

Pretty difficult to plan a flight to any metro AD and avoid all residential areas in the process.
CHAIRMAN is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 01:10
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: YBBN
Posts: 48
Complaints versus Complainers

Everyone complains about something at sometime, whether it be about noise, the government, the weather or the meal you had at a restaurant that was good, but could have been better.

Airports seem to have a special place in the hearts of complainers because they can marshal a cause and have a really good whinge and feel that they have made a difference. The argument "well, the airport was there way before you were" does not wash with these people. If anything, it increases their fully self believed sense of entitlement even further.

You can pick these people - they latch onto a cause with as much gusto as they can muster. They speak about it incessently and any social interaction with them will turn to their issue as sure as a Jabiru engine will self detonate for no reason.

They are consumed by it, and every aircraft heading for 16L/R or leaving on 34L/R hardens their resolve to "Stop the Noise!" even more. At this point the complainer has become irrational in their belief in their cause.

Mainstream media hear the noise and start to feature the complainer in news articles. The complainer, feeling vindicated ("Look! I'm in the paper. I must be right.") steps up by complaining even more. Like that *coughtwatcough* at Kellyville. Every twenty minutes. Every twenty minutes to complain that his amenity is affected even though it is obvious to most sane people that it is not.

And this is where the statistics about noise complaints become skewed. Looking at the ASA noise complaints reports, the single statistic that is missing is how many individual complaints are there? If there are 96 complaints in a month, were there 96 complainants? There will not be. I do recall a noise statistic for YSSY that there were 360 complaints made in a month, by 2 individuals living in Summer Hill (about 6km or so from the threshold of 16R). Husband and wife. Whipped up into a froth of rage over something that whilst it can be annoying becomes, as another poster pointed out, white noise over time.

We see these types of individual at every strata of society, but with even the Gen X'ers becoming a bunch of self-entitled prats, it's going to get worse. As someone on twitter put it the other day: "Because, because....MANUFACTURED OUTRAGE". Well played.

For transparency: I love aviation. If I could live under a flight path, i'd do it in a heartbeat.
yssy.ymel is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 06:57
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,804
If I could live under a flight path, i'd do it in a heartbeat.
Pity you couldn't tell that to the professional hypnotist that lived in Belgian Gardens in Townsville in the early Sixties. He lived close to the end of the then Runway 07. We didn't use 07 much because it was a bit short for the Long nose Lincoln and the flight path was right over the suburb.

We had a new CO (Wing Commander Cy Greenwood) - a no nonsense former Beaufighter pilot who became a POW in Japan after he was shot down by a couple of Zero's off Timor. For reasons lost in time (maybe works in progress on 020 (as it was called in those days) we had to use 07 for a couple of days. The noise of four Merlins several times a day at full chat over his house caused the hypnotist to lose his cool and ring the base and blast our CO. We could have told him that only a brave and foolish man would cross Cy "Big Julie" Greenwood.

In no uncertain terms, the CO told him where to go (no political correctness or media fright there in those days). Not only that, the CO told us to deliberately hold down after lift off. Seems the hypnotist would have some patient in a trance when a Lincoln would pass over his house at conservatively 200 feet at +12 boost and 3000 RPM. Now that is a lot of noise I can tell you. The hypnotist quickly got the message.
Centaurus is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 07:09
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 2,261

At RAAF Pearce in the late 70s our CO was Wg Cdr Bob "Bobo" Greenwood.

A local real estate developer had bought a tract of land under downwind for R/W 18, and one Friday he came onto the base and told the CO to avoid his land over the weekend, as there was a big land sale going on.

Normally, 2FTS didn't operate on weekends, so the developer must have been feeling confident. But Bobo called us all onto duty, and the end of every sortie had to include a low level circuit in the Maccherschmidt to make as much noise as possible on downwind. So, we did.

Didn't make a difference, the land was sold, and the new owners started bleating about the noise straight away.
Ascend Charlie is online now  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 08:36
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 379
The greatest threat is weak airport owners ... and property values.
Perhaps one should reconsider that statement... the greatest threat imho is the weakness of the industry as a whole, its unwillingness to support its own and ongoing refusal to relinquish its egoistical stance of arrogant self righteousness.

This is untested here
If it were to be tested, I don't think I am far from the highly likely prediction that the airport owner would have insufficient resources to deal with a well organised gang of complainers/developers/pollies...etc in cohorts. An airport owners primary revenue is certainly nowhere near what a commercial/residential development might command. The industry might well find itself with a precedent set for them without them even knowing it. They may well successfully argue that the vast majority of airfields in Australia are now redundant. There is certainly only a small number that have any RPT services. The rest are a pure convenience or playgrounds for those with a hobby...

Further, there is nothing to say you can't park your aircraft here... but whether you can land or take off is a different story.

Like I said... unless protection is afforded at the Cwlth level.
sprocket check is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 11:06
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: YBBN
Posts: 48
ICAO heard about all this and thought it was a splendid way of reducing noise footprints.
Centaurus - this is a brilliant anecdote. It should live in the national archives!
yssy.ymel is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 11:46
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,804
At RAAF Pearce in the late 70s our CO was Wg Cdr Bob "Bobo" Greenwood.
I had coffee with Bob (Bobo) Greenwood a few months ago at his house at Newport (Melbourne). He retired from CASA many years ago. He is enjoying retirement.
Centaurus is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.