What controls are in place to manage land surrounding the airport?

For land use planning purposes in Australia, aircraft noise exposure is illustrated using the Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) system.  Under the Airports Act 1996, Perth Airport is required to produce an ANEF as part of the Master Plan process every five years.


In 1980 a major survey was carried out in communities surrounding a number of Australian airports.  The ANEF system incorporates a weighting for the period 7pm to 7am, as the survey showed that this gave the best correlation between noise dose and community reaction.

The ANEF system is made up of the following three noise exposure indicators that, although use the same ANEF noise metric for calculation, are based on different inputs and vary in purpose.

Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF)

ANEF noise contours show the anticipated noise contours for the most likely or preferred development and forecasts for an airport.  Only one ANEF can be endorsed for any particular airport at one time.

Australian Noise Exposure Concept (ANEC)

ANEC noise contours are a planning tool used to test changes to noise exposure resulting from proposed changes to airport operations.  Several ANECs may be produced based on a  range of scenarios.

Australian Noise Exposure Index (ANEI)

ANEI noise contours are based on historical aircraft movement data and show actual noise exposure for an average day over a time period, generally a year.  The ANEI is mostly developed to compare with ANEF and ANECs to highlight differences in anticipated noise exposure.

It is important to note that the ANEF system noise indicators represent an average day and not a typical day.  On a typical day, residents may actually experience more noise exposure than the ANEF system noise indicators suggest.  This is because the traffic at Perth Airport varies significantly from weekdays to weekends.

The noise exposure indicators that make up the ANEF system are generated using special software developed by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Application to land use planning

The ANEF is a central component of the Australian Standard 2021 – 2000 Acoustics – Aircraft Noise Intrusion – Building Siting and Construction (AS2021).  AS2021 along with the relevant ANEF contours for a given airport, acts as a land use planning and building treatment guide.

The Standard provides best practice guidance to development control authorities (such as State and Local Government) on whether the extent of aircraft noise intrusion (specifically take-off and landing noise) makes a given land area, within ANEF contours, acceptable for a proposed land use or development.

The acceptability criteria varies depending on the type of land use, and the Standards specify that land within an aircraft noise exposure level of less than 20 ANEF is acceptable for the building of new residential dwellings.  The 20 ANEF contour corresponds to the 10 per cent ‘seriously affected’ and 30 per cent ‘moderately affected’ level in the dose/response relationship that was established by the 1980 socio-acoustic survey.

Further to its role as a guidance document for determining land use and development, AS2021 also provides detail regarding construction methods and materials to minimise noise intrusion to developments within ANEF contours.  A copy of AS2021 can be purchased from SAI Global.

State planning

The Western Australian Government has acted to restrict inappropriate development, mostly residential, in the vicinity of Perth Airport by adopting the Perth Airport ANEF into State Planning Policy No. 5.1 – Land Use Planning in the Vicinity of Perth Airport.

Perth Airport reviews all rezoning applications and will continue to object to new or increased density residential development close to the airport, and in particular those areas located within an aircraft noise exposure level of greater than 20 ANEF.  Such developments increase the extent to which people will be exposed to aircraft noise and correlate to a 10 per cent seriously affected level.

Further information regarding the ANEF system can be found on the Commonwealth Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website at infrastructure.gov.au.

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