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RAAF Base Townsville

Noise Mitigation

Air Force has an honest and open approach about the noise experienced by residents living near RAAF Base Townsville.

Air Force’s Aircraft Noise Management Strategy outlines how Air Force is working with local communities to reduce noise impacts whilst balancing operational and training requirements.

Air Force commits to undertake flying operations in a manner which is considerate of our local communities, whilst maintaining the safe operation of the aircraft.

Air Force endeavour to adhere to the Air Force Fly Neighbourly Policy for minimising aircraft noise. The principles of this policy are:

  • using appropriate runway length for departures to maximise height over local communities;
  • minimising the use of afterburner on fast jets during takeoff and climbing to altitude as quickly as possible;
  • limiting the speed of aircraft over populated areas;
  • minimising flight over residential areas and other noise sensitive buildings such as hospitals and schools;
  • avoiding low flying over populated areas and known noise sensitive areas such as livestock yards;
  • minimising flying late at night or early in the morning;
  • conducting aircraft noise awareness in pilot training and familiarisation; and
  • notifying local communities of major exercises or other non-routine training and flying activities such as flying displays.

Night flying for military fast jet aircraft at RAAF Base Townsville is limited to operational training only. When night flying is required for pilot training, media releases will prescribe times – usually completed by no later than 9 pm.

Where possible, major exercises and training activities will be highlighted on the Air Force Flying Operations webpage.

Circuit training

Circuit training is the act of repetitive take-offs, approaches and landings, known as a ‘touch and go’, and is an essential stage of practical pilot training. It involves making approaches to the runway, touching down and then applying power to take-off again. Military jets at RAAF Townsville limit this due to the shared nature of the Airport.

Initial and pitch

Some military aircraft at RAAF Base Townsville perform an arrival procedure known as ‘initial and pitch’.

Low flying operations

These are kept to a minimum and only used in occasional circumstances for specialist training outcomes.

Noise monitoring

As a joint user facility, noise management is controlled by aircraft noise abatement procedures and noise monitoring by Townsville Airport and by Defence.

In addition, Defence noise monitoring includes the use of a Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System (NFPMS) to monitor military aircraft noise. This system is installed at Townsville. The NFPMS provides information about aircraft noise for the public in a format that is easy to read and understand.

Airservices Australia provides information on noise monitoring for Townsville Airport.