Managing Noise at Christchurch Airport

We operate a large and diverse business and in doing so generate activity and widescale employment which can impact others. In prior decades, we were physically separated from
Christchurch city and the broader Canterbury region, but city expansion and earthquake-driven relocations have resulted in us having more immediate neighbours. Our responsibility and intention is to engage and collaborate, where appropriate, with all stakeholders, especially residents and businesses close to the airport grounds. Promoting this understanding helps our goal of growth without significant or unreasonable impact.

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
  • 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 un-curfewed 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 District Plan's rules governing the airport 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 a Noise Management Plan. 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

As a result of consultation with local residents, Christchurch Airport 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.  

Our Priorities


  • Proactive communication
  • Accurate aircraft noise information
  • Noise abatement for large developments


  • Engage with closest neighbours about possible mitigation measures
  • Inform residents and prospective residents about possible future noise annoyance as the airport gets busier

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