Who is responsible for aircraft noise management?

The responsibility to manage aircraft noise impacts at Sydney Airport is shared by many organisations.  As well as Sydney Airport, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Australian, NSW and local governments, airlines, aircraft and engine manufacturers, and regulators all play important roles.

The roles of Sydney Airport in relation to noise management are to:

  • Provide and maintain on-airport infrastructure to facilitate noise sharing
  • Support the use of quieter new generation aircraft
  • Ensure guidelines are in place to control noise generated by engine ground running and respond to ground-based noise complaints
  • Publish relevant and accurate information about noise impacts that can be easily accessed, including ANEF and other noise descriptors such as flight path movement charts, frequency-based aircraft noise charts and respite charts
  • Respond to ground-based noise complaints at Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport works closely with the following organisations to balance the economic and social benefits of aviation with the need to minimise noise impacts:

International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO – United Nations specialist civil aviation agency

  • Prepares global aircraft noise standards, international aviation laws and regulations which in turn are implemented in Australia by Government and industry


  • Maintain aircraft fleets and engines that meet the required ICAO and Australian Government noise-related regulations
  • Implement noise abatement procedures
  • Develop flight schedules

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) – the independent administrative reviewer of Airservices aircraft noise-related activities.

  • Reviews complaints, community consultation processes and aircraft-noise related information

Airservices – the Australian national air navigation service provider managing air traffic control.

  • Prepares and publishes jet noise abatement procedures
  • Determines aircraft flight paths at Sydney Airport
  • Implements noise sharing at Sydney through the Long Term Operating Plan (LTOP)
  • Publishes information on aircraft movements, runway and flight path usage and noise impacts using a range of noise descriptors
  • Handles aircraft noise complaints and inquiries (other than ground based noise)
  • Operates noise monitoring equipment around the airports and publishes results
  • Reviews and endorses ANEFs for technical accuracy
  • Administers the aircraft movement cap

Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC) – advises the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport on the policy and regulations for airports and the aviation industry and administers the Airports Act.

  • Enforces Sydney Airport aircraft movement cap and curfew dispensations
  • Supports the Sydney Airport Community Forum and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Sydney Airport Community Forum – a community forum providing advice to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Sydney Airport and aviation authorities on the abatement of aircraft noise and related environmental issues at Sydney Airport, particularly as the primary body for consultation on LTOP.

NSW and local Governments – determines the planning frameworks for areas around the airport, the aim being to ensure inappropriate development is avoided in areas where aircraft noise impacts are (or are forecast to be in the future) excessive.

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