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Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System

Defence operates Noise and Flight Path Monitoring Systems (NFPMS) to provide the community with information about aircraft noise associated with military operations at three RAAF bases. Defence is conducting noise assessment at some childcare centres on RAAF Bases.

The NFPMS provides information in a format that is easy to read and understand, and helps Defence to manage community aircraft noise exposure.

The Department of Defence has engaged Bruel Kjaer EMS (Australia) to install, maintain and operate an NFPMS at RAAF Bases Amberley, Townsville and Williamtown. Quarterly reporting from the NFPMS can be accessed by following the links at the bottom of this page.

How the Noise and Flight Path Monitoring System Works

An NFPMS is a computer based system that correlates aircraft noise with aircraft flight track data from an air traffic control system. The NFPMS operated by Defence is the same system used to monitor noise near major airports in Australia (such as Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney) and overseas (at Denver, Heathrow, San Francisco).

Aircraft noise levels are measured by noise monitors installed near Defence bases. The monitors are very sensitive (for example, it can sometimes measure buses, trucks, and loud cars), so the information from the noise monitor is compared to radar flight paths.

If the timing of a noise event matches the radar track made by an aircraft, that noise is attributed to the aircraft and will appear in our NFPMS reports. Sometimes, the noise cannot be matched to radar tracks, so the noise is treated as background noise and is not included in our NFPMS reports. reports

For detailed information, download our factsheet on the measurement of aircraft noise.

Monthly Reports (Interactive)

Airports around Australia use NFPMS to provide local communities with noise and flight track data recorded by automated terminals.  Defence has reported NFPMS data to local communities since 2005 and, in 2013, introduced an innovative new webpage report to replace paper-based reporting.

The new interactive NFPMS webpages can be accessed by following the links in the tables below.  These webpages are updated every three months and provide detailed flight track and noise information.  By clicking on the various drop-down menus, or on the noise monitoring terminals, it is possible to explore the local noise environment and flying activities.

A video demonstrating the new NFPMS reports and explaining how to use it is available here (45.3mb).

The below table contains links to the interactive and accessible monthly reports from July 2017 onwards for RAAF Amberley, RAAF Townsville and RAAF Williamtown and from November 2021 onwards for RAAF Darwin and RAAF Tindal.

Base Monthly Reports 2017-2022
RAAF Base Amberley Interactive Accessible
RAAF Base Darwin Interactive Accessible
RAAF Base Tindal Interactive Accessible
RAAF Base Townsville Interactive Accessible
RAAF Base Williamtown Interactive Accessible

The below table contains quarterly reports for the 1st half of 2017 (January to March and April to June).

Base Quarter 1 - 2017 Quarter 2 - 2017
RAAF Base Townsville Interactive Accessible Interactive Accessible
RAAF Base Amberley Interactive Accessible Interactive Accessible
RAAF Base Williamtown Interactive Accessible Interactive Accessible

Historical quarterly and annual reports for all Defence NFPMS sites from 2005 to 2016 sites can be downloaded here.

RAAF Base Darwin NFPMS Reports

Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Annual
2011 2011 2011 2011 2011

Temporary community noise monitoring was conducted during Exercise Pitch Black 2012.  The key results of the two week monitoring project are available at the link below.

Pitch Black 12 monitoring

Information about Australian Super Hornet conditions of consent and monitoring are located on the environment pages.