Airport Noise

Wellington airport is aware of the effects of airport noise on the local community – we’re dedicated to careful monitoring and management.

The airport comfortably complies with the Wellington City District Plan’s noise requirements. Over the last 20 years as airport activity has increased the overall noise generated has significantly declined. This is a direct result of substantial investment in new technology by the airlines and the airport, which has meant that noise has been kept to levels considerably less than its historic peak in 1988.

These include:

  • Changes in aircraft technology have produced new generations of aircraft that are up to 30% quieter and this trend will continue.
  • An engine testing bay at the airport that helps to confine noise from engine testing.
  • The implementation of the airport’s curfew that has effectively eliminated most airport noise between midnight and 6am.
  • Investment in quieter ground service equipment.
  • Noise abatement procedures specific to Wellington Airport relating to flight routes set by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The District Plan includes rules on the subdivision of properties within the Air Noise Boundary and performance standard for noise insulation of new structures and additions to existing buildings.


Aircraft noise is monitored at three sites around the airport. The monitoring system allows us to evaluate whether the total aircraft noise generated is within the levels set by the District Plan. The airport is permitted to emit noise up to 65 decibels, on average over 90 days, at the Air Noise Boundary. The 65dB Annual Air Noise Contour is prepared and published annually.


The Air Noise Management Committee (ANMC) was formed in 1997, allowing community and industry representatives to advise on the airport’s Noise Management Plan. The ANMC is an independent body with representatives including up to four local residents, the Airport, The Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand Inc, Airlines, Wellington City Council, Airways Corporation New Zealand and the New Zealand Defence Force. In addition, there are acoustic experts who provide technical advice to the ANMC.


The Wellington City Council District Plan requires Wellington Airport to manage its noise levels responsibly to limit the impact on its surrounding community. The airport does this through the implementation of a Noise Management Plan (NMP) advised by the ANMC. The NMP includes methods and processes for remedying and mitigating adverse effects of airport noise including:

  • Strictly governing the total noise for aircraft movements at Wellington Airport.
  • Controlling hours of flight with a curfew in place (from midnight to 6am for domestic flights and international departures, and from 1am to 6am for international arrivals, with allowances for delayed flights and exemptions for emergencies).
  • Implementing the Quieter Homes noise mitigation package.
  • Controlling engine testing and other land based activities.
  • Improving the airport’s layout and equipment to reduce ground noise.


If you would like to raise any questions with either the airport or your resident representative on the ANMC, please complete our enquiry form.

enquiry form

Alternatively, email your contact details, including your street address, to the address below or leave a message on the answer-phone number. A representative will contact you within three working days.

0508 AIRNOISE (0508 247 664)

Wellington Airport future noise (PDF 520.3 KB)

Noise Management Plan (PDF 4.3 MB)