Council reviews airport noise contours

Noise can impact our enjoyment within Greater Christchurch and it is important to ensure any nuisance noise effects are well managed.

We have received the updated noise contours we requested from Christchurch International Airport. We have since (in early September) received an addendum that makes minor amendments to the contours (PDF File, 2.07MB) as previously posted on 5 July. 

Providing updated noise contours is one of the inputs to the review of the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (CRPS), which must be done every 10 years. The CRPS was made operative in 2013. 

Independent review completed

We had the airport’s modelling reviewed by an international panel of experts who worked with airport staff to finalise the noise contours.

At this stage, the new contours are considered to be technical information only. The noise contour considered to be appropriate for land use planning purposes will continue to be that in Map A of the operative Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.

Read the independent expert panel’s final report on Christchurch International Airport noise contours (PDF file, 1.66MB).

Process timeline

2013: Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (RPS) becomes operative. It must be reviewed every 10 years.

November 2021: We received a review of airport noise contours requested from CIAL for the RPS review.

July 2023: Independent review of the contours is expected to be completed.

2023: Public consultation on Greater Christchurch spatial plan, which will consider noise contours.

December 2024: We expect to notify the reviewed RPS for public submissions and hearings.

2025-26: Decisions leading to the new RPS becoming operative.

2027 onwards: Once any appeals are resolved, district plans in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri are amended, with appropriate public consultation, to give effect to the new RPS.

What are noise contours?

Noise contours help us, and local councils, identify areas exposed to aircraft noise – they are essentially a footprint an airport must operate within - so appropriate measures can be developed to mitigate any negative impacts.

This might include limiting development or requiring noise protection in buildings in areas likely to be adversely affected by the noise.

The current noise contours were developed more than 10 years ago to inform the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy, the 2013 Regional Policy Statement and the district plans for Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri.

How will the noise contours be used?

The noise contours will provide material to inform a review of the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement and then the Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri District Plans.

The Regional Policy Statement is expected to be notified in December 2024, leading to submissions and hearings before the new Policy Statement is approved.

District plans:

This story was originally published on 23 Nov 2021.