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Mitigating our impact

We operate a large and diverse business which makes a huge contribution to our economy. We also generate significant activity which can impact others, particularly with regards to noise.


In our early years, we were physically separated from Christchurch, but city expansion and earthquake relocations have resulted in us having more immediate neighbours. Our responsibility and intention is to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders, especially residents and businesses close to the airport, so we can continue to grow without creating unreasonable impact.  

Where does noise come from?

Noise at the airport is 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. The extent to which noise affects the community depends on a wide range of factors including timing of operations, aircraft type, air space management, proximity of noise sensitive activities and prevailing weather conditions. 

Christchurch Airport is required to operate 24 hours a day to support the economy of the region and New Zealand. We put great care into the development of effective noise management plans in consultation with the community, so we can operate as required while mitigating the impact of noise.

Noise reporting  

View our daily engine test noise monitoring reports here.  

Noise monitoring

Aircraft noise at Christchurch Airport is controlled by a Noise Boundary (at a noise level of 65 dBA Ldn). Noise from 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. Please refer to the annual noise monitoring reports below to learn more.  

Noise Management Plan

We have a Noise Management Plan in place, which sets out the procedures for assessing and reporting compliance with the Noise Boundary and formalises the engine testing bylaw.  

Reporting noise complaints  

As a result of consultation with local residents, we have a process in place for reporting, recording and responding to noise complaints. You can use the noise complaint feedback form or contact us 24 hours a day on +64 3 353 7700.    

Between 17 February and 20 March of this year, NZ Police is trialling police air support – a helicopter commonly known as Eagle – from a base at Christchurch Airport. For more information please see the NZ Police media release

Our 2019/2020 airfield maintenance work, an annual programme required to keep our airfield in top condition, will run from 11 November 2019 to mid-February 2020 and 29 March to early April 2020, weather permitting. On some nights, runway closures of the north/south runway will be required between 8pm to 6am. As a result of that, the east/west runway may be used at this time. Please note this will be not be required on all of those nights/mornings. We apologise for any disturbance caused by the use of the east-west runway overnight and thank you for your understanding and support of the regular maintenance programme at Christchurch Airport.

Airport Noise Liaison Committee  

In accord with the Christchurch Replacement District Plan from March 2017, we have established an Airport Noise Liaison Committee (ANLC) made up of:

  • A Chairperson  
  • Two representatives from Christchurch Airport  
  • Two representatives from the Board of Airline Representatives  
  • An Environmental Health Officer from Christchurch City Council  
  • At least two representatives from the Christchurch City Council Community Boards
  • A representative from the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust. 

The ANLC meet every three to six months to advise on the Airport Noise Management Plan and Acoustic Treatment Programme. It also provides a channel for community concerns regarding noise from aircraft operations and engine testing.

ANLC meetings are closed to the public unless an audience is formally requested. To request an audience with the Committee, please send an email to enquiries@cial.co.nz with ‘Attention Airport Noise’ in the subject line. Please be sure to clearly outline your concern and include any relevant information. If you don’t want to present your case in person, state this in your email and include contact details for a response to be sent to. You can view a summary of all previous meetings here.

Every year Christchurch Airport is required to provide an annual report to Christchurch City Council, including the ANLC members and a summary of the matters considered by the Committee. 

Acoustic Treatment Programme (ATP)

Some dwellings near the airport are exposed to elevated levels of noise from aircraft activities which warrant mitigation under the Christchurch District Plan. We have recently developed and started implementing the ATP to address these issues.  

Our noise priorities  

Guarding airport operations  

  • Ensuring proactive communication  
  • Providing accurate aircraft noise information  
  • Providing noise abatement for large developments.  

Protecting community health  

  • Operating in accordance with the Noise Management Plan   
  • Communicating and encouraging aviation operators to follow the Noise Management Plan   
  • Implementing the Acoustic Treatment Programme.

Noise Management Plans