Curfew at Essendon Fields Airport

Summary of Key Features

The Curfew

  • The Essendon Fields Airport curfew was put in place to minimise the impact of aircraft noise on nearby residents. A limited number of aircraft types are allowed to operate during the curfew, including emergency service aircraft, and any aircraft that need to land for safety reasons.
  • The rules for the curfew at Essendon Fields Airport are laid down in the Air Navigation (Essendon Airport) Regulations 2018.
  • Aircraft take-offs and landings are restricted at Essendon Fields Airport between the hours of 11.00 pm and 6.00 am (local time).

Curfew Restrictions

  • Jet aircraft cannot take-off from or land at Essendon Fields Airport during the curfew unless the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 50,000 kilograms or less and is involved in an emergency or police operations.
  • An aircraft should not depart from its origin port unless the estimated time of arrival will be before 11.00 pm Essendon local time. Where the estimated time of arrival will be at or after 11.00 pm a dispensation should be sought before departure.
  • An aircraft that arrives at Essendon Fields Airport before 6.00 am must hold until after the curfew ends, or divert to an alternative airport.
  • Essendon Fields Airport is not to be nominated or used as a planned alternate airport.
  • All operators of aircraft to or from Essendon Fields Airport during curfew hours are required to lodge a flight plan with Airservices Australia.

Exceptions to the Curfew

The following aircraft are permitted to operate at Essendon Fields Airport during the curfew:

  • Propeller-driven aircraft with a maximum take-off weight not exceeding 45,000 kilograms, which have a noise certificate and comply with noise standards specified in Air Navigation (Essendon Fields Airport) Regulations 2018.
  • Helicopters with a noise certificate and a maximum take-off weight less than 45,000 kilograms.
  • Any aircraft that received taxi clearance by Air Traffic Control, or started taxiing for take-off when ATC is not available, before the curfew period starts.
  • An aircraft involved in an emergency, or interrupted by an emergency. 'Emergency' includes aircraft being used for or in connection with search and rescue, medical emergency or natural disaster, security or safety incident, insufficient fuel or in-flight emergency.
  • Dispensations may be granted if there are exceptional circumstances justifying a take-off or landing and the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of less than 45,000 kilograms.  
  • In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist the department will generally have regard to the principles set out in the Sydney Airport Curfew (Dispensation) Guideline 2016