Analysis of Auckland Airport

Auckland International Airport Limited has been active in managing noise levels at and around the airport so that the impacts on the community are minimized. The company’s Noise Management Plan includes the information on how they manage the airport to comply with what is required in the Manukau District Plan. The management strategy includes the formation of The Aircraft Noise Community Consultative Group, Noise Mitigation Trust Fund, Complaint Procedures and implementation of Aircraft Noise Contours, Monitoring Aircraft Noise, Noise Minimisation and Reporting Contraventions and Exceptions

Auckland Airport has developed standard protocols for recording, responding to and reporting on the noise complaints it receives relating to aircraft operations, engine testing activities and any other activities generating noise at the Airport. The Apron Tower provides a 24 hour service for this purpose and general public with concerns or noise complaints are encouraged to phone at any time.

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The complaint is then passed on for investigation to identify the cause of the noise and a written response outlining the results of the investigation will then be sent to the complainant. Aircraft noise contours that measure the average day/night sound level (Ldn) are operational so as to mitigate noise emission concerns. These contours cover the High Aircraft Noise Area (HANA) and Moderate Aircraft Noise Area (MANA) as per the Manukau District requirements.

The company monitors aircraft noise using Environmental Monitoring Units that are installed at Prices Road, Puhinui School and the Manukau Velodrome The monitoring units records the noise and transmit the data to the Aircraft Noise and Operations Monitoring System where it is matched with any aircraft in the area using flight track data from Airways Corporation New Zealand.

(Auckland International Airport Ltd Noise Management Plan(2005))The purpose of the ANCCG is to consider, and where appropriate make recommendations to Auckland International Airport Limited, on aircraft noise issues and concerns that arise from the operation and activities at the Auckland International Airport. Under the Manukau District Plan, Auckland Airport is also required to offer an acoustic treatment to the owners of buildings sensitive to aircraft noise that were built or consented prior to 10 December 2001.

The Ldn 60 dBA and Ldn 65 dBA line reaches the properties which includes household units, pre-school/education facilities, residential centres, hospitals, aged or rest homes. These buildings are called Activity Sensitive to Aircraft Noise (ASAN). The acoustic treatment packages reduce the amount of aircraft noise heard inside the buildings and thus installation of ventilation systems, insulation and kitchen extractor fans.

Auckland International Airport Limited has been offering home owners who are affected by a specified level of aircraft noise the opportunity to have an Acoustic Treatment Package installed in their homes. This equipment is designed to reduce the level of aircraft noise inside the building, but does not reduce any other types of noise. According to the Auckland International Airport Limited there is no proposal to modify or add new strategies to the existing Noise Minimisation Procedures.

However it is recommended that the company could consider investigating and adopting the EU/UK balanced approach to Airport Noise Management since the British Airways fleet is believed to have decreased total noise by over 80% despite the significant increase in passengers’ movements. This approach could be cost effective in long term and does not create any safety issues or unfairly impact on aircraft operations. The proposed and tested Noise mitigation procedures comply with only four main strategic elements which comprise of Noise at source, Operating procedures, Land use planning and Operational restrictions.

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