About this project and Airservices role

In February 2019, Airservices implemented the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Gold Coast.

Advice received from the then Minister for Transport and the Department of Environment in 2015 recommended that Airservices undertake a Post Implementation Review (PIR) of the Environmental Assessment of the Gold Coast Airport ILS, within 12-18 months of implementation. 

This advice stated that noise monitoring of 3 months would be adequate to collect sufficient data to support the PIR, including verifying predicted noise levels, identifying non-compliances and informing corrective actions.

Airservices will be undertaking a PIR for the Gold Coast ILS and will implement a temporary noise monitor in the Miami area (underneath the ILS flight path) to support the PIR. Additionally, Airservices is proposing a second temporary noise monitor which will provide information from the ILS vectoring corridor/early approach area further north, where aircraft will be in the early stages of the ILS approach. 

The second temporary noise monitor will be used to provide additional information to the community on ILS operations in the vectoring area. Due to the variable position of overflights in the vectoring area, it is unlikely that noise monitoring in this area will be utilised to validate noise levels.

What is a Noise Monitor?

Noise monitors are electronic devices that collect noise data within the vicinity of the unit. Airservices uses this equipment to collect noise data on aircraft flying to and from major airports.

Noise monitors are small units consisting of a pole with microphone equipment and an electronics and power box.

What is the purpose of a Noise Monitor?

Airservices Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System (NFPMS) collects noise and flight path data at Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Essendon, Adelaide and Perth airports. It is the world’s largest, most geographically-spread noise data collection system of its type.

Airservices undertakes noise monitoring at major airports throughout Australia, under the Airservices Act and Ministerial direction.

Are there different types of Noise Monitors?

We use a combination of permanent and temporary noise monitors.

Permanent noise monitors are fixed installations, powered by mains or solar power, which can be in place for many years. Some of our permanent noise monitors have been in place for over 20 years. Permanent noise monitors are placed to meet international standards. They will generally be a six metre pole with a microphone at the top.

Temporary monitors are for short term monitoring and are usually set in place for three months. Temporary monitors include a microphone and electronics box.

How do Noise Monitors work?

Noise monitors operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week collecting noise data from aircraft operating nearby. As an aircraft flies near a noise monitor, the noise level rises above the background noise level to a peak and then slowly returns to the background level. This is called a ‘noise event’. Noise events typically last between 20-40 seconds, but can vary depending on aircraft height, type and volume. The noise monitor captures each noise event separately and records this data to be analysed. 

Will a noise monitor only pick up aircraft noise?

Noise monitors record any noise above a certain volume (for example noise from machinery or motorcycles). Data recorded by noise monitors is correlated with Airservices radar data for aircraft movements.

Are Noise Monitors safe?

Noise monitors are safe, regularly maintained and comply with the relevant standards. Noise monitors are not radio transmitters, and have been tested and type approved to meet the EMS radiation requirements for IT equipment and to comply with all Australian regulations.

How does Airservices choose locations for noise monitors?

In general, sites are selected based on a number of different considerations including:

•  their technical suitability – noise monitoring needs to comply with acoustic standards and areas with high noise background, high rise buildings or known uncertainty for noise data are avoided

•  their location in relation to flight paths – sites need to be located near flight paths so they will be able detect noise from aircraft

•  their distance from existing noise monitors – to achieve value for the community and from noise monitor data captured, noise monitors are not placed too close to existing noise monitors

•  whether the noise monitor is permanent or temporary.

Once suitable sites are identified, we also need agreement from the landowner to install a noise monitor. Permanent noise monitors are not installed at private residential properties but can be installed at sites such as schools and educational centres, churches, hospitals and parks. 

Why do Airservices install temporary noise monitors in some locations?

Temporary noise monitors can be deployed for a limited period. They allow data to be obtained from locations that do not require permanent noise monitoring or where a permanent monitor cannot be installed.

The results can be used to:

•  detail noise impacts on communities,

•  validate noise modelling,

•  measure the impact of changes in procedures (for example, a flight path modification), and

•  provide evidence to inform decisions on permanent monitoring locations.

Decisions on where to locate temporary noise monitors take into consideration:

•  community feedback,

•  reviews of the noise monitoring network that have identified potential gaps, and

•  modelling of potential new procedures and their impacts.

Is the data from noise monitors available to the public?

Data from the temporary noise monitors will be accessible to view on Airservices Webtrak tool at http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aircraftnoise/webtrak  

Data from permanent noise monitors is also available through the Airservices online report for the airport at http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/publications/noise-reports/noise-reports/

How many noise monitors are located on the Gold Coast?

We have two permanent noise monitors installed at Tugun and Banora Point in the Gold Coast region. The noise monitor at Banora Point captures arrivals to Gold Coast Runway 32 and departures from Gold Coast Runway 14. The Tugun noise monitor captures arrivals to Gold Coast Runway 14 and departures from Gold Coast Runway 32.

How many temporary noise monitors are proposed for the ILS?

We are proposing to install two temporary noise monitors on the Gold Coast.

The first temporary noise monitor will be installed in a zone at Miami and the location of the second temporary noise monitor will be determined from four zones, with consideration of feedback from the community.

Who makes decisions about where to install temporary noise monitors?

Airservices environmental specialists have determined that a zone within Miami (which is as close as possible to being directly underneath the ILS path), will offer the highest level of suitability for completion of the PIR.  The objective of placing this short-term noise monitor in this location is to obtain the highest quality noise data possible to support the PIR analysis, and therefore placement has been determined based on technical requirements.

Where can I find more information on aircraft noise monitoring?

For information on aircraft noise monitoring please visit: http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aircraftnoise/factsheets/ 

How were the zones for the temporary noise monitor determined?

Three installation zones were identified for the second temporary noise monitor considering:

•  proximity to the Miami zone,

•  modelled noise levels of aircraft using the ILS, and

•  each zone’s composition in terms of:

-  the existence of a range of properties where a noise monitor could potentially be installed,

-  proximity to other noise sources that may increase the background noise levels,

-  other factors which many impact the ability of the noise monitor to capture aircraft noise events.

How long and when will the temporary noise monitors be installed?

The two temporary noise monitors will each be in place for a minimum of three months (we may extend this timeframe to ensure adequate data is captured). This timeframe reflects the Ministerial advice which was provided to Airservices in 2015.

The two temporary noise monitors will be installed by November 2019.

What will Airservices do with data collected?

Data collected from the Miami temporary noise monitor will be used by Airservices to complete our PIR, including verifying predicted noise levels, identifying non-compliance and informing corrective actions.

Data collected from the additional temporary noise monitor within the vectoring and early approach area to the north of Miami will offer additional noise information associated with the ILS for communities within the ILS vectoring and early approach area. 

Can I access a copy of the data?

Both temporary noise monitors will be visible on WebTrak Gold Coast for the length of the monitoring period. This data can also be accessed for three months after it is captured through WebTrak http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aircraftnoise/webtrak     

Is there a chance that the temporary noise monitors will become permanent?

No. The temporary noise monitors will be installed for a period of three months, at which point they will be removed.

Will Airservices review locations of the Gold Coast permanent noise monitors?

Yes.  Airservices reviews the location of all permanent noise monitors against a range of criteria, including changes in flight paths and aircraft traffic patterns. We plan to undertake a detailed noise monitoring review of the Gold Coast area after the PIR has been completed, to ensure existing permanent noise monitoring locations continue to effectively meet the objectives of the noise monitor placements.

Where can I find more information about the Gold Coast ILS?

Please visit http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/projects/gold-coast-ils/ for information on the ILS and Noise Abatement Procedures (NAPs).