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.

Noise Reporting

View 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 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.

Reporting Noise Complaints

Our 2019/2020 airfield maintenance work, an annual programme required to keep our airfield in top condition, will run from 11 November 2019 until early February 2020, weather permitting.  Some runway closures of the north/south runway are required on some nights between 8pm to 6am. As a result of that, the east/west runway may be used between 24 November and mid-December and 19 January to mid-February. 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.
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.  


Airport Noise Liaison Committee

In accordance with the Christchurch Replacement District Plan made operative in March 2017, Christchurch Airport has established an Airport Noise Liaison Committee
(ANLC). The Committee is made up of the following:

  • 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; and

It is intended that the ANLC meet quarterly. Key responsibilities include advising on the Airport Noise Management Plan and the Acoustic Treatment Programme and providing a channel for community concerns regarding noise from aircraft operations and engine testing. ANLC meetings are closed to the general public unless an audience is formally requested to raise an issue relevant to the Committee's core functions.

To request an audience with the Committee, please send an email to
with Attention Airport Noise in the subject line. Please be sure to clearly outline the matter you wish to raise and include any relevant attachments and information. If you do not want to present your case in person, you may 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.

Christchurch Airport is required to provide an annual report to Christchurch City Council, including the ANLC composition and a summary of the matters considered by the Committee.  This annual report will also be published on CIAL's website when it has been prepared.

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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