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Helicopter noise blitz

10 Mar 2016

Helicopter noise blitz Image

The City of Melbourne last month agreed to develop Fly Neighbourly Agreements (FNAs) with local helicopter companies in an effort to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

Councillors unanimously agreed to support the development of a Fly Neighbourly Agreement at the February 16 Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

Last year some 6289 helicopters flew over the City of Melbourne between January and July, with two helipads located along the river opposite South Wharf and Crown Promenade in Southbank.  

Regulation of helicopters and small aircraft is at a federal level and generally require aircraft to fly at a minimum of 1000 feet.

However, current regulations don’t address issues such as flight paths, time of operation and minimum heights for hovering.

The City of Melbourne will seek to develop FNAs with all main helicopter companies operating within the municipality.

Residents of Flinders Wharf, who live close to the helipad opposite South Wharf, and also East Melbourne, have been campaigning for action on the issue for some time.

While the council supports the development of FNAs, it’s uncertain how much the initiative will impact on the current situation, given the agreements are non-binding and voluntary.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the first hurdle was the acceptance of the agreements by the relevant federal authorities.

He said there was no precedent for FNAs in urban areas, with the agreements previously being applied to remote and regional areas.

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