Aircraft hazards

Bird hazards

A collision between an aircraft and one or more birds is termed a birdstrike. A birdstrike can have varied levels of damage from an insignificant impact not affecting the aircraft to a major impact where an aircraft may experience a sudden loss of power due to a bird being ingested by a jet engine. If this happens during take-off or initial climb of a fully-loaded passenger aircraft, the result can be potentially catastrophic. Active wildlife management on the airport is part of the day to day operation for improved safety outcomes.

The Melbourne Airport Planting Guide below provides advice on avoiding bird-attracting planting in urban landscapes around the airport.

Dangerous Lighting

At night and during periods of poor visibility during the day, pilots rely on both aircraft instruments and the pattern of our airfield ground lighting, principally the high intensity approach and runway lights to assist in aligning themselves with the runway in order to touch down safely. Any other form of lighting which could distract or confuse pilots should not be visible within the airport surrounds.

Section 9.21 of CASA’s Manual of Standards for aerodromes specifies a number of detailed requirements for lighting in the vicinity of aerodromes.

Advice for the guidance of designers and installation contractors is provided for situations where lights are to be installed within a 6km radius of a known aerodrome. Lights within this area fall into a category most likely to be subject to the provisions of the regulation 94 of Civil Aviation Regulations 1988. Within this large area, there exists a primary area which is divided into four light control zones: A, B, C and D. These zones reflect the degree of interference ground lights can cause as a pilot approaches to land.

To view the 6km radius and Zones A.B, C and D read our Airport Protection of Airspace Regulations document.

Melbourne Airport Planting Guidelines

Landscaping plans must be submitted to the APAM Environment and Sustainability Team for approval prior to any rehabilitation/re-vegetation works commencing and must give consideration to the following:

  • All revegetation works are to align with a Modern Australian Native Landscape design incorporating low maintenance and drought resistance plant species.
  • All plants growing to a height of greater than 3 metres must be assessed for potential bird/bat attraction.

Airspace Protection of Airspace Regulation document