Essendon Airport

Complaints

Airservices manages enquiries and complaints about aircraft noise and operations through the Noise Complaints and Information Service (NCIS). The information below is collected by the NCIS for the purpose of complaint management, analysis of issues and identification of causal factors. For this reason we refer to ‘complainants’ and ‘issues’. Complainants are people who contacted the NCIS. While some people submitted enquiries or comments rather than complaints, all are referred to as “complainants”. Issues are the primary concern they raised.

Overview

At Essendon Airport most complainants raise one of two issues:

  • helicopter activities
  • general aviation traffic

In the majority of complaints about helicopter activities, the nominated flight was an emergency services operation. For example, Air Ambulance Victoria has helicopters based at Essendon Airport. Because they are equipped for retrieval and patient care, these helicopters are large twin engine aircraft and can be quite loud. In addition, patient care requirements sometimes mean that these helicopters need to fly relatively low. All emergency services may operate during the curfew. Information about emergency services based at Essendon Airport is available from the Airport’s website.

Complainants concerned about general aviation activities often reside in suburbs further away from the airport and are disturbed by aircraft flying outside controlled airspace.

Changes to our complaint-reporting format

The new interactive reporting below (effective October 2019) will be monthly, rather than quarterly. New data will be available on the 10th business day of each month.

Use this interactive tool to explore the issues raised by residents from different suburbs. Read an explanation of issues and classifications used in complaint reporting.

Help is provided on both the Complainants and Issues and Classification Screens in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

If the NCIS have identified something new or unusual in the data, an explanation will be provided in a dated accordion below the interactive reporting. Previous quarterly reporting to January 2016 is under the accordion “Archived”. Yearly reviews of complainant numbers and issues will continue to be provided.

Note: monthly complaints data describes the complaints lodged in that calendar month. Depending on when in the month the matter was lodged, the investigation may not have been completed within the same month. Where an investigation reveals that the issue or classification initially assigned to the matter was not the most appropriate one, this will be corrected. This may result in incremental changes to issue or classification counts for a previous month. Additionally, complainant numbers are now for each month. Previously if a complainant contacted the NCIS each month in a quarter that was reported as one complainant, if you are adding the number of complainants each month, this may not provide a realistic interpretation of the total number of complainants. If you select a month where there were no complainants, nothing will be displayed.

The following tabs contain our previous complaint reports

2020 Year in Review

Complainants

There were 207 individual complainants in 2020. This is a significant increase from 129 on 2019.

The main reason for the increase in complainant numbers in 2020 was the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased working from home requirements increased the exposure of residents to aircraft noise. Increased emergency services operations were required to facilitate responses to the pandemic, training organisations were not subject to restrictions and longer lockdown periods in Victoria, exacerbated all of these.

While complainant numbers have increased considerably, there has been a decrease in aircraft movements at Essendon Fields Airport. The Movements at Australian Airport reports show that to the end of December 2020 there had been 42 808 movements at Essendon Airport. As a comparison at the end of November 2019, there had been 50 230 movements.

In 2020, the NCIS implemented monthly reporting data in lieu of quarterly reporting for all airports. It is important to note that if a resident contacts the NCIS once every month, they are noted as one complainant for each of the 12 months, however, when we record the number of complainants for the calendar year they are only counted as one complainant, regardless of how many times they have contacted us.

Chart 1: Complainants per month, average number of complainants per month for the past three years and total number of complainants 2020

Chart 2: Comparison of complainant numbers 2016 to 2020

Issues

Helicopter operations remained the main issue in 2020 as it was in 2018 and 2019. The percentage of complainants disturbed by this issue has been between 46 and 56 percent over the last three years. Night movements and General aviation traffic were the other two main concerns in 2020.

Six other issues recorded six or fewer complainants. The issue of Other in the chart below has combined the issues of Military, Sport Aviation and Property. Each of which recorded one complainant.

Chart 3: Issues raised in 2020

Helicopter Operations

Complainants raised three concerns with these operations; Emergency services operations disturbed 76 percent of complainants in this issue, Helicopters conducting air work 16 percent and standard operations to and from the airport eight percent.

The majority of operations conducting air work were media operations.

Curfew and Night Movements

Permitted movements under the Essendon Curfew Act disturbed two residents. Emergency services operations disturbed all other residents.

General Aviation Aircraft

Emergency services operations were again the main concern for this issue, followed by standard operations to and from the airport and two residents raised concerns with aircraft involved with air work. This air work was for aerial mapping. It occurred in May and was conducted at low altitudes at night.

Emergency Services Operations

These operations disturbed 75 percent or 155 complainants in 2020. The majority of concerns were the time of the operations, most occurring after 21:00 and before 06:00, the continuous circling of the area, the length of time the operations were conducted, the low altitude and questions on why these were occurring when the State was in lockdown.

Emergency services operators are aware of the noise impact of their operations however, any noise mitigation opportunities are restricted by the nature and time of the emergency.

Chart 4: Emergency services operations comparison 2018 to 2020

Suburbs

One hundred and twenty three suburbs recorded complainants across the greater Melbourne basin in 2020. Of these 82 recorded a single complainant.

The suburbs recording the most complainants were Strathmore, 11 complainants, Brunswick, seven, Preston, Reservoir and Cockatoo, six complainants each and Pascoe Vale, five.

Strathmore and Pascoe Vale also recorded the most complainants in 2019.

Emergency services operations disturbed he majority of residents in each of these suburbs.

Strathmore residents also raised concerns with ground running at the airport and aircraft conducting air work.

Pascoe Vale residents were also disturbed by permitted operations at night and standard flight path movements.

2019 Year in Review

Complainants

There were 129 individual complainants in 2019, which is a slight increase from 127 in 2018.

Chart 1: Comparison of complainant numbers 2016 to 2019

Chart showing comparison of complainant numbers 2016 to 2019

Issues

In 2019, the main issue was helicopter operations, raised by 56 percent of complainants compared to 46 percent in 2018. Chart 2, shows this is a continuing trend.

The other main issues raised by complainants were curfew operations, night movements and general aviation traffic. Chart 2 provides a comparison of complainant numbers for these issues from 2016 to 2019.

Chart 2: Main issues raised in 2019, number of complainants affected with a comparison of complainant numbers for 2016 2017 and 2018

Chart showing main issues raised in 2019, number of complainants affected with a comparison of complainant numbers for 2016 2017 and 2018

Helicopters

Emergency services operations affected 60 percent of these complainants, while 25 percent were concerned with standard operations. Helicopters involved in air-work concerned 14 percent and training concerned one complainant.

General aviation

Fourteen percent of all complainants raised this issue. The majority were concerned either with standard operations or with emergency services operations.

Night Movements and Curfew

Curfew operations concerned 12 percent of complainants, and Night movements 11 percent. Emergency services operations affected the majority of complainants.

Emergency Services operations

These operations in total affected 56 percent of complainants.

Emergency services may operate either fixed wing or rotor wing aircraft, and may operate at any time of the day or night. Emergency services operators are aware of the noise impact of their operations however, any noise mitigation opportunities are restricted by the nature and time of the emergency.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency services operations, number of complainants affected and comparison with 2016, 2017, and 2018

Chart showing breakdown of issues associated with emergency services operations, number of complainants affected and comparison with 2016, 2017, and 2018

Suburbs

In 2019, 76 suburbs recorded complainants. Fifty-one suburbs recorded a single complainant.

The suburbs recording the most complainants were Strathmore with nine complainants, Essendon and Pascoe Vale each with eight complainants, and Kensington and Carlton North each with four complainants. Emergency services operations were the main concern to the majority of residents in all of these suburbs.

Strathmore residents also raised concerns with curfew movements, and helicopters operating standard flight path movements.
Essendon residents were also concerned with other helicopter operations, general aviation traffic and curfew movements were also concerns.

Pascoe Vale residents were also concerned with standard flight path movements and Curfew operations.

All residents from both Kensington and Carlton North were affected by helicopter operations. Helicopter operations conducting air-work or on standard flight paths affected the majority of complainants.

Chart 4 provides a complainant and suburb comparison of these suburbs with the calendar years of 2017 and 2016.

Chart 4: Suburbs recording the most complainants in 2019 with comparison figures for 2016, 2017, 2018

Chart showing suburbs recording the most complainants in 2019 with comparison figures for 2016, 2017, 2018

July - September 2019

Complainants

There were 27 complainants in quarter three 2019 which is a decrease from 43 in quarter two. For the same period last year 27 complainants were also recorded.

The number of complainants concerned with emergency services operations has also decreased this quarter, as seen in the chart below.

Chart 1: Number of complainants’ comparison

Chart showing number of complainants per quarter for the past four quarters

Issues

The main issue in quarter three was Helicopters, raised by 17 complainants. The main concerns raised by these complainants were Emergency services operations (76 percent) and Airwork (18 percent). The complainants affected by Airwork were affected by media operations.

Other issues raised were; Curfew movements with six complainants, General aviation traffic, three complainants and Standard flight path movements with one complainant.

Emergency services were of concern to 18 complainants, under a variety of issues as seen in Chart 2.

Chart 2: Emergency services issues

Chart showing the number of complainants raising issues associated with Emergency Services operations

Suburbs

Twenty individual suburbs recorded complainants in quarter three. Seventeen suburbs recorded a single complainant.

Strathmore, adjacent to the airport, recorded the most complainants with four residents affected. Three were affected by curfew movements involving emergency services, and one affected by helicopters.

Glenroy, located to the north of the airport, and Kensington, located to the south of the airport, recorded three complainants each. All Glenroy complainants were concerned with emergency services helicopter operations over the area, with the complainants affected in the night hours.

Kensington complainants were affected by helicopters conducting airwork over the area between 6am and 8am.

April - June 2019

Complainants

There were 43 complainants in quarter two 2019 which is an increase from 40 in quarter one. For the same period last year there were 36 complainants recorded.

The number of complainants concerned with emergency services operations has decreased this quarter, which can be seen in the chart below. However there has been an increase in concerns regarding night movements, which includes emergency services aircraft.

Chart 1: Number of complainants’ comparison

Chart showing number of complainants per quarter for the past four quarters

Issues

The main issue in quarter two was again Helicopters, raised by 20 complainants. The main concern raised by these complainants was Emergency services operations (55 percent) and Airwork (30 percent).

Other issues raised were; Night movements with ten complainants, General aviation traffic, five complainants and Curfew three complainants. One complainant each was concerned with Ground running of engines, noise monitor request and an unusual aircraft noise.

Emergency services were of concern to 20 complainants, under a variety of issues as seen in Chart 2.

Chart 2: Emergency services issues

Chart showing number of complainants raising issues associated with Emergency Services operations

Suburbs

Thirty-five individual suburbs recorded complainants in quarter two. Thirty-one suburbs recorded a single complainant.

Strathmore, adjacent to the airport, recorded the most complainants with five residents affected. Two were affected by curfew movements, and two affected by helicopters. Two of these residents were affected by emergency services operations. One resident requested a noise monitor.

Hampton is located approximately 20 kilometres to the southeast of Essendon Airport. Three residents were affected by an aircraft conducting a survey in the early hours of the same morning in June.

Richmond is located 11 kilometres to the southeast of the airport, and two residents were affected by helicopters conducting airwork.

The concerns to residents of Pascoe Vale were curfew movements involving emergency services aircraft, and by standard flight path movements to and from the airport.

January - March 2019

Complainants

There were 40 complainants in quarter one 2019 which is an increase from 24 in quarter four 2018. However this is a decrease from the quarter one 2018 figure of 45 complainants.

The increase in complainants was due largely to concerns with helicopter operations. The number of complainants for this issue was nearly double the number in quarter four 2018, with increased concerns over emergency services and standard operations. Standard operations include regular operations by traffic-reporting helicopters.

Chart 1: Number of complainants’ comparison

Chart showing number of complainants per quarter for past four quarters.

Issues

The main issue in quarter one was Helicopters, raised by 23 complainants with the main concerns being Emergency services operations, and Standard operations.

Other issues raised were; General aviation traffic, seven complainants, Curfew operations and Night movements, a total of seven complainants, and standard flight path movements, three complainants.

Emergency services were of concern to 25 complainants, under a variety of issues as seen in Chart 2.

Chart 2: Emergency services issues

Chart showing number of complainants raising issues associated with emergency services operations

Suburbs

Twenty-eight individual suburbs recorded complainants in quarter one. Twenty-one suburbs recorded a single complainant.

Essendon, located to the south of the airport, recorded five complainants with four complainants affected by either curfew or night movements. The other complainant was concerned with standard flight path movements.

Pascoe Vale, located to the east of the airport, recorded three complainants who were affected by emergency services operations and standard operations to and from the airport.

Ascot Vale, Brunswick West, Bundoora, Carlton North and Strathmore Heights all recorded two complainants each. The majority of residents in these suburbs were affected by Helicopter operations, both emergency services and standard operations to and from the airport.

2018 Overview

Complainants

There were 127 individual complainants in 2018, which is a decrease from 137 in 2017.

Chart 1: Comparison of complainant numbers 2016 to 2018

Chart showing the number of complainants in 2018 with a comparison to 2016 and 2017.

Issues

In 2018 the main issue was again helicopter operations raised by 46 percent of complainants. This percentage is consistent with 2017. The other main issues raised were Curfew operations, night movements and general aviation traffic. Chart 2 provides a comparison of complainant numbers for these issues from 2016 to 2018.

Chart 2: Main issues raised in 2018, number of complainants affected with a comparison of complainant numbers for 2016 and 2017

Chart showing the number of complainants raising main issues in 2018 with a comparison to 2016 and 2017.

Helicopters

Of the complainants raising this issue, 47 percent were affected by emergency services operations and 46 percent were concerned with helicopters conducting airwork. Airwork encompasses media operations as well as survey work. Other concerns raised were regarding standard operations and the altitude of the aircraft.

Night Movements and Curfew

The issues of Night Movements and Curfew were raised by 48 complainants. The majority of complainants under both of these issues were affected by emergency services operations.

Emergency Services operations

In total 86 percent of complainants were affected by emergency services operations. This is an increase from 60 percent of complainants in 2017. Chart 3 below provides the main issues raised by complainants affected by these operations with a comparison with 2016 and 2017.

The nature of emergency services work is such that operations can take place at all hours. While this can be disturbing it is unavoidable due to the vital nature of the work. Emergency services operators are aware of the noise impact of their operations and try to minimise these as far as possible.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency services operations, number of complainants affected and comparison with 2016 and 2017

Chart showing a breakdown of the complainants concerned with issues associated with Emergency Services with a comparison to 2016 and 2017.

Suburbs

In 2018 a total of 78 suburbs recorded one or more complainants. Fifty seven suburbs recorded a single complainant.

The suburbs recording the most complainants were Strathmore with nine complainants, Essendon North and Essendon with seven complainants each and Prahran with six complainants.

Strathmore residents were affected mainly by emergency services operations (five complainants), residents also raised concerns w ground running at the airport, and standard flight path movements.

Both Essendon and Essendon North residents were primarily affected by Curfew operations, both permitted movements and emergency services operation.

Prahran residents were affected by helicopters conducting airwork. All residents were affected by media helicopters in March 2018.

Chart 4 provides a complainant and suburb comparison of these suburbs with the calendar years of 2017 and 2016.

Chart 4: Suburbs recording the most complainants in 2018 with comparison 2017/2016

Chart showing the number of complainants per suburb with a comparison to 2016 and 2017.

October - December 2018

Complainants

There were 24 complainants in quarter four 2018 which is a slight decrease from 27 in quarter three.
There were 127 complainants in the 2018 calendar year.

Chart 1: Number of complainants’ comparison

Chart showing number of complainants per quarter for the previous four quarters

Issues

The main issue in quarter four was again Helicopters, raised by 12 complainants and the main concerns remained Airwork and Emergency Services operations.

General aviation traffic was a concern to five complainants and Curfew operations and Night movements affected three complainants each.

Chart 2: Issues raised in quarter four

Chart showing the number of complainants raising concerns per issue

Suburbs

Twenty one individual suburbs recorded complainants in quarter four. Nineteen suburbs recorded a single complainant.

Moonee Ponds recorded three complainants and residents raised concerns with emergency services operations, operating within the Curfew and Runway 17 departures.

Pascoe Vale recorded two complainants and were affected by emergency services operations and standard operations to and from the airport.

July - September 2018

Complainants

There were 27 complainants in quarter three 2018 which is a reduction from the Quarter 2 2018 figure of 36 complainants.

Chart 1: Number of complainants comparison

Chart showing comparison of complainant numbers for past four quarters

Issues

The main issue was again Helicopters, raised by 15 complainants. The main concerns raised about helicopter operations were Airwork and Emergency Services operations.

A total of 8 complainants raised concerns about operations during the curfew. The majority of night movements and curfew movements were emergency service operations.

Chart 2: Issues raised in quarter three

chart showing number of complainants raising each issue

Suburbs

Complainants were recorded from 22 individual suburbs in quarter three. The suburbs recording the most complainants was Fitzroy North with three complainants and about airwork helicopter. Airport West, Brunswick, Essendon North, Kew and Strathmore with two complainants each. The remaining 16 suburbs recorded one complainant each.

April - June 2018

Complainants

There were 36 complainants in quarter two 2018 which is a reduction from the Quarter 1 2018 figure of 45 complainants.

Chart 1: Number of complainants comparison

Chart showing number of complainants per quarter for the previous four quarters

Issues

The main issue was again Helicopters, raised by 12 complainants. The main concerns raised about helicopter operations were Airwork and Emergency Services operations. Airwork includes aerial surveys, media and scenic flights.
A total of 3 complainants raised concerns about operations during the curfew and 9 raised concerns about night movements. The majority of night movements and curfew movements were emergency service operations.

Chart 2: Issues and number of complainants

Chart showing the number of complainants raising each issue
Overall, emergency services operations were the cause of concern for 18 complainants. The majority, of these complainants raised concerns about emergency services operations during the night time or curfew period. ‘Night movements’ reflects that some of these complainants were disturbed at a noise sensitive time, yet prior to the commencement of the curfew.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency service operations

Chart showing the number of complainants raising each issue when associated with emergency services

Suburbs

Complainants were recorded from 32 separate suburbs in quarter two. The suburbs recording the most complainants were Essendon and Strathmore both with three complainants each.

January - March 2018

Complainants

There were 45 complainants in quarter one 2018 which is consistent with the quarter four 2017 figure of 50 complainants.

Chart 1: Number of complainants comparison

Chart showing number of complainants per quarter for the previous four quarters

Issues

The main issue was again Helicopters, raised by 27 complainants. The main concerns raised about helicopter operations were Airwork and Emergency Services operations. Airwork includes aerial surveys, media and scenic flights.

A total of 15 complainants raised concerns about operations during the curfew. The majority of movements reported during the curfew were emergency services movements.

Chart 2: Issues and number of complainants

Chart showing the number of complainants raising each issue

Overall, emergency services operations were the cause of concern for 21 complainants. The majority, 13, of these complainants raised concerns about emergency services operations during the curfew period. The remaining 8 complainants were disturbed during non-curfew hours, although ‘night movements’ reflects that some of these complainants were disturbed at a noise sensitive time, yet prior to the commencement of the curfew.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency service operations

Chart showiing the number of complainants raising each issue when associated with emergency services

Suburbs

Complainants were recorded from 28 separate suburbs in quarter one. The suburbs recording the most complainants were Essendon North, Prahran and Strathmore all with five complainants each. All five complainants from Prahran raised concerns about the same traffic network helicopter. Essendon North complainants were concerned by curfew movements and complainants from Strathmore were concerned by helicopter operations and curfew movements. Three complainants were recorded from Carlton North and Essendon, two complainants from Collingwood and one complainant from each of the remaining 22 suburbs across Melbourne.

2017 Overview

Complainants

There were 137 individual complainants in 2017, which is an increase from 101 complainants in 2016. In 2017 there was an increase in complainants regarding helicopter operations, night movements and aircraft operating in the Curfew period.

Issues

The major issue in 2017 was Helicopters which was raised by 45 percent of complainants. The combined issues of Night movements and Curfew were raised by 30 percent of complainants.

Chart 1: Issues raised in 2017 and the number of complainants affected

graph showing number of complainants raising each issue in 2017

Helicopters

Complainants raising this issue were mainly concerned with either emergency services helicopters or helicopters conducting airwork.

Helicopters involved in media activities come under the classification of Airwork and 29 percent of complainants raising the issue of helicopters were concerned with Airwork. Various sporting events in the Melbourne city area meant that this was raised by a greater number of complainants in October. See the Investigations page to learn about investigations into helicopter activities.

Emergency services helicopters were nominated by 65 percent of complainants raising the issue of Helicopters.

Night Movements and Curfew

The issues of Night Movements and Curfew were raised by 41 complainants. The majority of these complainants, 78 percent, were concerned with emergency services operations.

The issues of Helicopters and the combined issues of Curfew and Night Movements have consistently been the major issues raised throughout 2017, as can be seen in Chart 2 below.

Chart 2: Issues for each quarter in 2017

graph showing number of complainants raising each issue broken down per quarter

Emergency Services operations

A number of emergency services operate out of Essendon Airport. These operations were raised as a concern by 60 percent of all complainants. The breakdown of the issues around emergency services can be seen below in Chart 3.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency services operations and number of complainants affected

number of complainants raising each classification of the emergency services issue

The nature of emergency services work is such that operations can take place at all hours. While this can be disturbing it is unavoidable due to the vital nature of the work. Emergency services operators are aware of the noise impact of their operations and try to minimise these as far as possible.

Suburbs

A total of 93 suburbs recorded one or more complainants. Strathmore recorded the most complainants, which was nine. Pascoe Vale and Essendon North recorded five complainants, and Oak Park and Preston each recorded four complainants.

Strathmore is located directly to the east of the airport and is overflown by arrivals on to the east west runway, and by helicopters departing or arriving from the south or west of the airport. The main issues raised were Curfew and Night movements, with 67 percent of Strathmore complainants raising these.

Pascoe Vale is located east of Strathmore, and is overflown by arrivals onto Runway 26 as well as some helicopters from the east and south. Complainants from this suburb were mainly concerned with Curfew and Night movements.

Essendon North is located directly to the south of the airport and is overflown by aircraft on arrival or departure to the north-south runway, Runway 17/35. The issues raised included Helicopters, Standard flight path movements, and Curfew operations regarding permitted movements during the curfew time period.

One complainant only was recorded from 70 suburbs.

Complainants are generally from suburbs around the airport however some suburbs from further afield also recorded complainants. These complainants were generally raising issues around emergency services operations, including Helicopters and Night movements.

Chart 4 provides a complainant and suburb comparison for the calendar years 2017 and 2016.

Chart 4: Suburb and Complainant comparison 2017/2016

comparison from 2016 to 2017 of the number of complainants in each suburb with the highest number of complainants

October - December 2017

Complainants

There were 50 complainants during quarter four 2017, which is an increase from 32 in quarter three. The increase in complainants was due to an increase in complaints regarding helicopter operations and operations within the Curfew period.

Chart 1: Number of complainants’ comparison

chart showing number of complainants per quarter

Issues

As shown in Chart 1 below the main issue in this quarter was Helicopters with 20 complainants raising this issue. Emergency services operations were raised by 50 percent of these complainants and media helicopters were also of concern.

The issue of Curfew was raised by 13 complainants. Permitted movements was a concern of 38 percent of these complainants, with the rest concerned with emergency services movements.

Chart 2: Issues and number of complainants affected

graph showing the number of complainants raising each issue

Overall, emergency services were raised as part of an issue by 50 percent of all complainants. The issues raised by these complainants can be seen in chart 3 below.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency services operations

Chart showing the percentage breakdown of the different classifications associated with the emergency services issue

Suburbs

Complainants from 41 suburbs registered a complaint in quarter four 2017. The suburbs recording the most complainants were Strathmore and Essendon North with four complainants each.

Strathmore is located directly to the east of the airport and is overflown by arrivals on to the east west runway at the airport and by helicopters departing or arriving from the south or west of the airport. Three of the complainants from this suburb were affected by an early morning departure of an emergency services small jet aircraft.

Essendon North is located directly to the south of the airport and is overflown by aircraft on departure when the north-south runway is used in a southerly direction and by aircraft on arrival when the runway is used in a northerly direction. The main issue raised was regarding permitted movements during the curfew period.

Coburg North, Pascoe Vale and Prahran each recorded two complainants. All these suburbs except for Prahran are located close to the airport. Prahran complainants were concerned with emergency services operations and a survey aircraft. The survey operation was raised by four separate complainants from four separate suburbs.

A single complainant was recorded for 36 suburbs.

July - September 2017

Complainants

There were 32 complainants in quarter three. This is a slight increase from 28 complainants in the previous quarter. 94 individual complainants have contacted the NCIS in the year-to-date.

Chart 1: Number of complainants comparison

Number of complainants

Issues

As shown in Chart 2, the main issue this quarter was Night Movements with 11 complainants. Ten of these complainants nominated movements by emergency services. This reflects the fact that 99 per cent of movements during the curfew were emergency services this quarter, up from the previous two quarters – see Curfew Movements charts on the Movements page.

Chart 2: Issues

Issues

Concerns about emergency services operations were raised by nearly half of all complainants.

Chart 3: Percentage of complainants concerned about emergency services operations

Emergency services

Suburbs

Complainants were recorded from 27 individual suburbs during this quarter. The suburb with most complainants was Gladstone Park with three complainants. Richmond, Northcote and Pascoe Vale had two complainants each, the remaining suburbs had one complainant each.

The residents from Gladstone Park were all affected by the issue of unusal movements; specifically aircraft turning left from Runway 35. This issue was investigated in August 2017 and was found to be due to routine traffic management – see Investigations and Community Consultation.

Emergency services operations were the cause of concern to residents in Richmond, Northcote and Pascoe Vale. These operations affected a further 11 suburbs.

April - June 2017

Complainants

There were 28 complainants in quarter two 2017. This is a decrease from 37 complainants in the first quarter 2017. Sixty-four individual complainants have contacted us in the year-to-date.

Chart 1: Number of complainants comparison

Number of complainants comparison

Issues

The main issue this quarter was helicopters with 13 complainants. Night movements followed helicopters with eight complainants and general aviation traffic recorded five complainants.

Chart 2: Issues, quarter two

Issues

Emergency services operations were the cause of concern for 10 of the 13 complainants affected by the issue of helicopters. The other three complainants under this issue were affected by helicopter operations involved in air work and media flights.

All seven complainants under the issue of night movements 11.00 pm -6.00 am were affected by fixed wing emergency services.

All five complainants under the issue of general aviation traffic were affected by fixed wing emergency services operations.

In total, 76 per cent of all issues raised were to do with emergency services activities.

Chart 3: Breakdown of issues associated with emergency services operations

Emergency services

Suburbs

Twenty-four individual suburbs were recorded complainants during quarter two. The suburbs recording the most complainants were Strathmore, Essendon North, Brunswick and Ashburton all with two complainants each.

The complainants from Strathmore, Brunswick and Ashburton were all affected by emergency services helicopter operations. A Brunswick complainant was also affected by fixed wing operations.

January - March 2017

Complainants

There were 37 complainants in quarter one 2017. This is an increase from 33 complainants for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Chart 1: Number of complainants comparison

Number of complainants comparison

Issues and suburbs

Helicopters were raised as an issue by 24 complainants. Emergency services operations were the cause of concern for 20 of these complainants. Of these, fourteen complainants were affected by operations during the curfew period.

The other four complainants were affected by helicopters involved in airwork operations and media flights.

Chart 2: Numbers of complainants raising the issue of emergency services helicopters and their suburbs

Emergency services helicopters

General aviation traffic was nominated by six complainants. Two of these complainants were affected by fixed wing emergency services operations. The other complainants were in the vicinity of designated VFR routes, or were affected by aircraft conducting airwork.

Complainants came from twenty-nine individual suburbs in quarter one. Twenty-three suburbs had one complainant each.

Chart 3: Suburbs with two or more complainants

Suburbs

The residents of Oak Park, Moonee Ponds, Preston and Strathmore were all affected by emergency services helicopter operations. Moonee Ponds was also affected by fixed wing operations.

The residents of Ivanhoe East were affected by general aviation traffic, while the residents of Strathmore Heights, due to their proximity to the airport, were affected by arriving and departing traffic.

2016 Overview

Complainants

There were 101 individual complainants for the 2016 calendar year.

Issues and suburbs

In 2016 fifty complainants raised the issue of helicopters. Almost half nominated activities that were emergency services operations (21). A further sixteen complainants were concerned by helicopters conducting airwork, such as traffic reporting helicopters. Other concerns included altitudes and random movements outside controlled airspace.

Complainants from a total of forty-four suburbs complained about helicopter activities. Six suburbs each had two complainants who raised the issue. Thirty-eight suburbs had one complainant each.

Chart 1: Issues relating to helicopters, 2016

Helicopters, 2016

General aviation traffic affected twenty-eight complainants. Emergency services operations were the main concern for twelve of these complainants. Others were concerned about arrivals or departures from the airport or random general aviation movements.

Chart 2: Numbers of complainants raising the issue of general aviation and their suburbs

General aviation 2016

During 2016 complainants from a total of 71 suburbs complained of operations associated with Essendon Airport. Fifty-five of these suburbs recorded a single complainant only.

Chart 3: Suburbs with more than one complainant, 2016

Suburbs 2016

Strathmore and Essendon complainants were affected by helicopter activities. Essendon complainants were also affected by emergency services operations.

Note that some complainants may have raised two or more issues each in 2016.