A new Noise Management Plan (NMP) for Busselton Regional Aerodrome will allow greater flexibility while still limiting environmental impacts, the Environmental Protection Authority has recommended. Release Date:
26 March 2012Details:
EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said the section 46 review, which assessed the need for existing environmental conditions to be updated, recommended a NMP replace the existing conditions by providing a more effective means to appropriately manage the impact of aircraft noise on nearby residents, particularly if the airport operated at a greater capacity in the future.
“The current noise conditions have proven restrictive on operations normally expected of a regional airport, without effectively dealing with flight training operations, which are the main source of noise complaints,” Dr Vogel said.
“The existing conditions also restricted passenger flights through limits on variations to the maximum noise level, requiring one-off variations to be approved by the Minister for Environment.
“The proposed NMP will set limits on noise levels and hours of operations as well as establish a permit system to manage the impacts of flight training, which can generate repetitive lower level noise over long periods of time.”
Dr Vogel said the NMP:
- limits standard airport operations by defining hours of operation and noise limits on aircraft;
- allows the City of Busselton to regulate flight training through a permit system;
- guides airport uses to limit noise impacts through fly neighbourly agreements and flight paths;
- sets out processes and criteria for noise amelioration for affected residences; and
- identifies ‘special control areas’ as a planning instrument to prevent future development in areas that are affected by airport noise.
Dr Vogel said the NMP also recommended that the City of Busselton’s Chief Executive Officer should be able to approve single non-conforming activities, limited to four per year, after which any application would need to be assessed through the broader consultation process and require approval by Council.
The proposed hours and levels are appropriate provided that there are noise amelioration measures in the NMP available to affected residents, including preventing excessive noise through operational controls and providing noise insulation for affected residences,” Dr Vogel said.
He said the City of Busselton was also required to report non-compliant activities and take follow-up action.
“Generally, good communication between the community and proponent is essential when it comes to the issue of noise; therefore the EPA recommends the City of Busselton prepare a short summary document that clearly and simply explains the NMP, what residents can expect in terms of airport activity and amelioration packages, and what the recourse is in the event of non-compliance,” Dr Vogel said.
EPA Report 1435 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au , and is now with the Minister for Environment for consideration.
EPA Media contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450Status: