How much noise are aircraft allowed to make?

In Australia, aircraft noise standards apply before an aircraft is allowed to operate here, rather than in the course of its day-to-day flying activities.

Before an aircraft begins operating in Australia it is required to meet international noise standards that specify the amount of noise that may be emitted by that type or model of aircraft.  If an aircraft does not pass the certification process, it may not fly in Australia.  However once an aircraft passes this certification process, there is no legislation or regulation that enables any agency, including Airservices, to police its noise levels.

There is no regulated maximum noise level for aircraft flying over residential areas.  Without any maximum level set out in legislation or regulation, there is no objective measure to determine whether any aircraft actually flying in Australia is “too noisy”, or whether the combined load of aircraft experienced by a community is “too much” noise.  In other words, there is no legislated level that can be contravened.

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