By Tricia Mifsud
Macedon Ranges and Mitchell shire residents could be subject to more noise pollution once Melbourne Airport’s new third runway is built.
The airport has revealed plans for a third runway to support the growth of Victoria’s biggest airport.
The draft master plan details the current two runways, one north-south and the other east-west, are no longer adequate to support the growth of the airport.
The proposed third north-south facing runway will be built 1.3 kilometres to the west of the existing north-south runway.
Chief of infrastructure Simon Gandy said the additional runway would mean changes to flight paths, which could see greater noise pollution for residents in Macedon Ranges.
Residents in the Mitchell Shire have also received letters in their mailboxes about the potential increase of noise pollution in the area.
However, there won’t be an immediate, significant increase of noise pollution to the affected areas.
“The earliest a new runway could be in place is 2027, and then, obviously, on day one, you’re not going to get a massive uptick in the change in the volume of flights,” he said.
“It then increases from that point on over time. So, we’ve done some charts to indicate what the number of flights [will be] and the noise contours based on 2026, and on 2046.”
People can enter their address in the third runway flight and noise tool to view the estimates. Visit www.caportal.com.au/melair/virtual/m3r to access the tool.
Mr Gandy said there was a significant need for the additional runway as Melbourne endeavoured to become the largest Australian city.
Between 2000 and 2019, the number of passengers passing through Melbourne Airport more than doubled from 16 million, to over 37 million.
It is estimated when the runway’s construction was complete, the airport will be able to handle 47 million passengers.
Mr Gandy said the benefits of the overall project, including number of passengers able to pass through the air, jobs created and contribution to gross state product, would outweigh any disadvantages.
“There’s a huge amount of benefit to the runway and that benefit applies back into the whole of the city and the state,” he said.
“[There will be] significant increase in the number of jobs that we’ve got from today as a result of the new runway, and huge benefit for trade, for businesses and for people to be connected with friends, family and loved ones.
“There will be about 3200 more jobs on site, and 37,000 more jobs state-wide by 2046. We estimate an additional 4.6 billion to the gross state product by 2046, and that’s per annum so it’s a significant uptick in the capability.”
Mr Gandy said it was important for people to view the information online and make informed submissions about the plans.
“What we really want people doing is going on to the online hub, and putting in their postcode into the noise tool, and making themselves aware of what the likely changes are to the flight path, and to the noise and the number of flights that they might be seeing out over their area,” he said.
“[The public exhibition] is actually giving as many people as possible information around the impacts that this great investment will bring, and you could argue we would say that, but we do we do believe it’s absolutely right for Melbourne.
“But we are very understanding that it doesn’t come without some form of impact, and that impact is in the form of noise.”
People are invited to submit feedback about the master plan and the third runway by visiting www.caportal.com.au/melair/virtual/feedback.
Submissions will be accepted until May 16. For more information about the project visit www.caportal.com.au/melair/virtual.