East - West runway this summer (2015/16)

You may have noticed recent increased use of our east-west runway. That has been the result of a combination of factors including an increased number of freight planes, late-night arrivals from Australia,   Antarctic aircraft, and aircraft involved in a large multi-national defence force training exercise.

Another factor is maintenance work to replace ageing concrete shoulders on the runway, to
maintain high quality runways for the safe operation of all aircraft at our airport.

The work is very dependent on a set of conditions, which includes weather, wind, temperature, cloud cover and other aspects. Each day, staff monitor reports from meteorologists, with a final call made at 9pm each night on whether the assembled staff and machines may begin work or be stood down. Conditions are tightly monitored and can change, which can impact the work.

All of this means we cannot say at the beginning of a week how much work will be completed by the end of the week, which also means we cannot accurately say when the work will end. This work is essential and will continue until it is completed, which may still be some weeks away.  

The east-west runway is predominantly used in nor'west wind conditions, however its
use is not limited only to these conditions. On occasion (such as during maintenance activity) the east-west runway is used for reasons of operational efficiency and safety.

Managing Noise at Christchurch Airport

Noise is globally recognised as the primary issue that could hinder airport growth.  The extent to which the community is affected by noise is determined by a wide range of factors including:

  • timing of operations;
  • aircraft type;
  • air space management;
  • proximity of noise sensitive activities; and
  • prevailing weather conditions.

Noise occurs as a result of airline operations, ground support activities (engine maintenance, re-fuelling, baggage loading/unloading and re-provisioning of aircraft), airfield maintenance and site development activities.

Mitigating the impact of noise relies on the development of noise management plans, working closely with the community.  Christchurch is an uncurfewed airport and we are required to retain our 24 hour operating ability to support the economy of the region and New Zealand. You can view the 2014 Noise Fact Sheet here.

Noise Monitoring

Aircraft noise at Christchurch Airport is controlled by a Noise Boundary (at a noise level of 65 dBA Ldn). Noise from actual aircraft operations for the three busiest months of any year must not exceed 65 dBA Ldn outside the Noise Boundary.

Each year this requirement is checked and the results reported. This is because the rules governing the Airport in the District Plan specify that compliance with the Noise Boundary must be assessed annually by calculating noise compliance contours and undertaking noise measurements. Please refer to the annual noise monitoring reports below.

The rules also require that a Noise Management Plan is necessary. This has been developed to set out procedures for assessing and reporting compliance with the Noise Boundary and to formalise the engine testing bylaw. You can view the 2013 Noise Management Plan here.

Reporting Noise Complaints

Christchurch Airport has listened to local residents and now has a process in place for reporting, recording and responding to noise complaints.  You can use the noise complaint feedback form here, or contact us 24 hours a day on 03 353 7700.  

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