Aircraft Noise & Airport Planning

Wilkinson Murray is recognised as an Australian leader in the assessment of noise from aircraft and airports. We have provided the core services for all of Australias major airports over the last 20 years, including Sydney Kingsford Smith and Badgerys Creek, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sunshine Coast as well as regional airports including Wellcamp.

This extensive involvement has been acknowledged by our involvement in Policy issues and Australian Standards around aircraft noise and airport planning.

The services we provide include the following:

  • preparation of ANEF and ANEC charts
  • prediction of numerous noise metrics customised to suit each project
  • preparation of comprehensive web based community information portals
  • airport planning - control of noise from surface operations and vibration and ground borne noise from underground rail systems
  • building design to control intruding aircraft / helicopter noise

sydney airport



sydney airport


The Commonwealth Government made a decision to proceed with a second airport within the Sydney basin with the first stage requiring an Environmental Assessment of the proposed development. Wilkinson Murray prepared the overflight and ground based operational noise assessment as part of the GHD EIS team. Wilkinson Murray have also been involved in previous assesments in the mid 70s and late 80's.

A critical part of our scope at this EA stage was the representative classification of future aircraft operations at WSA.  This has been achieved through analysis of estimated flight data and 10 years of meteorological observations, and extensive consultation with aircraft operators.  Specialist consultants were able to forecast the number of flights for future scenarios, but the allocation of those flights to runways was tasked to us. This included assessment of ground operations and airborne noise.

In addition to normal assessment parameters Wilkinson Murray provided noise metrics for health assessment along with the production of interactive noise tools to assist the public in undertaking potential noise impacts surrounding the airport. Further the impact of aircraft movements over the Blue Mountains National Park were presented graphically in the form of track density diagrams.

sydney airport


Aircraft noise surrounding Sydney Airport is managed partly by the adoption of the Long Term Operating Plan involving noise sharing over Sydney suburbs. As the traffic at the airport increases over time, the opportunities for noise sharing will reduce resulting in some noise impact increases around the airport.

In 2004, 2009 and 2014 Wilkinson Murray was commissioned to provide airport noise prediction and mitigation services to assist in the preparation of the Master Plan. ANEF and maximum noise contours were prepared for relevant airport operational scenarios and these were used to identify future noise impacts.

Brisbane airport


The aircraft noise assessment for the Brisbane NPR EIS involved the prediction and assessment of ground and aircraft noise associated with the adding of a parallel runway to the airport. The assessment employed a best-practice approach; including ANEF and N70 levels for numerous time periods and seasons.

Wilkinson Murray remained involved in the project as a comprehensive stakeholder and community consultation process was undertaken, including the production of a Noise Information Booklet and distribution of a TNIP Compact model of the airport.

Sunshine airport

sunshine airport


Sunshine Coast Airport (SCA) has indentified a need to expand its operation.  Included in the proposal is a new 2,430 metre runway, which will operate in an east/west direction, and a new terminal.  Wilkinson Murray has been engaged to undertake noise and vibration assessments for inclusion in the EIS.  Our scope includes: aircraft noise; on-ground noise, traffic noise and construction noise and vibration.  The project has drawn heavily on our significant aircraft noise experience and information sharing, and analysis, has been aided by our GIS capabilities

A critical part of our scope was the accurate classification of existing and future aircraft operations at SCA.  This has been achieved through advanced analysis of existing flight data and 10 years of meteorological observations, and extensive consultation with aircraft operators.  Specialist consultants were able to forecast the number of flights for future scenarios, but the allocation of those flights to runways was tasked to us.  The data obtained through the above analysis was to produce a custom developed model of future operations.  The output of this model was used by many consultants in their respective disciplines.



These projects involved the preparation of ANEI contours using INM. To date existing noise models were obtained and verified. Historical aircraft tracks were statistically analysed to facilitate accurate modelling of tracks.



Traffic growth at Gold Coast Airport, and particularly the introduction of long-haul operations, meant that a southern extension to its major runway was required. Noise impacts from this project included altered flight paths and operating procedures as well as the additional operations themselves.

Wilkinson Murray was engaged to undertake a full assessment of the noise implications of the proposal, including detailed analysis of changes to N70 and ANEF contours and a description of impacts in various areas, as part of the environmental assessment for the project. The project was approved, and works were completed in 2007..

Regional Airport


Various aircraft noise and airport noise assessments have been undertaken at both civil and military airports around Australia. These have typically supported the proposed expansion or changes in operations at these airports. Recent noise modelling for EA’s and Masterplans have been conducted at Broome, Orange, Wellcamp (Toowoomba), Tamworth and Roma (Maranoa) airports.

In addition, assessment of airport operations on residential developments such as those around Jandakot airport have been assessed with respect to WHO health guidelines. A recent peer review of Military aerodromes, such as Townsville and Darwin has been conducted for the introduction of the JSF.



Wilkinson Murray was responsible for the preparation of the noise parts of an Environmental Impact Statement for the development of this college. The college trains commercial pilots from may countries, mostly sponsored by airlines. The development involved the construction of a parallel runway to be used by the college with only limited disruptions to existing civil aviation.





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