Melbourne Airport Runway Development Program

Melbourne Airport


Update about public exhibition timing:

The Draft Major Development Plan for the Runway Development Program will be going on public exhibition in 2019, not December 2018 as previously indicated. Please register on this site to keep updated on the progress of the Runway Development Program.


The demand for air travel to and from Melbourne is growing rapidly and it is vital that Melbourne Airport provides additional runway capacity to meet this demand.

Just over 35.15 million passengers passed through Melbourne Airport in the 2017 financial year period, and this is forecast to reach 68 million passengers annually by 2038.

Under the Runway Development Program (RDP), Melbourne Airport proposes the construction of a new east-west runway and extension to the existing east-west runway.

The RDP will create jobs state-wide, grow the Victorian economy and provide passengers with a more efficient air travel experience by reducing the time aircraft spend on the ground waiting to depart or in the air waiting to land.

Approval for the RDP is required from the Commonwealth Government via a Major Development Plan which is currently being developed by Melbourne Airport.

The Major Development Plan will be made available for public comment during a 60-day public exhibition period to commence in 2019.

For more information take a look through our fact sheets or register your email address to receive updates on the project.

Have a question about the RDP? Ask us.


Studies and Assessments

A number of studies and assessments have been undertaken by independent experts to investigate the benefits and impacts of the RDP and help inform the Major Development Plan. The key findings from these studies will be released ahead of the public exhibition period. The full studies will be made available when the MDP goes on public exhibition.

Find out more about the current studies below :




Update about public exhibition timing:

The Draft Major Development Plan for the Runway Development Program will be going on public exhibition in 2019, not December 2018 as previously indicated. Please register on this site to keep updated on the progress of the Runway Development Program.


The demand for air travel to and from Melbourne is growing rapidly and it is vital that Melbourne Airport provides additional runway capacity to meet this demand.

Just over 35.15 million passengers passed through Melbourne Airport in the 2017 financial year period, and this is forecast to reach 68 million passengers annually by 2038.

Under the Runway Development Program (RDP), Melbourne Airport proposes the construction of a new east-west runway and extension to the existing east-west runway.

The RDP will create jobs state-wide, grow the Victorian economy and provide passengers with a more efficient air travel experience by reducing the time aircraft spend on the ground waiting to depart or in the air waiting to land.

Approval for the RDP is required from the Commonwealth Government via a Major Development Plan which is currently being developed by Melbourne Airport.

The Major Development Plan will be made available for public comment during a 60-day public exhibition period to commence in 2019.

For more information take a look through our fact sheets or register your email address to receive updates on the project.

Have a question about the RDP? Ask us.


Studies and Assessments

A number of studies and assessments have been undertaken by independent experts to investigate the benefits and impacts of the RDP and help inform the Major Development Plan. The key findings from these studies will be released ahead of the public exhibition period. The full studies will be made available when the MDP goes on public exhibition.

Find out more about the current studies below :



Ask us a question about the Runway Development Program and we will respond to you within three business days. 

This page is solely for questions relating to the Runway Development Program. To ask a general Melbourne Airport question, email community@melair.com.au 

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  • How to propose safe access for vehicles to the Runway Development area whilst maintaining the safety of residences of McNabs and Arundel Rd?

    SabrinaMaree asked about 2 months ago

    Hi SabrinaMaree, thanks for your questions here.

    Safety is paramount to any works undertaken by Melbourne Airport. The location and configuration of the connection to Sunbury Road for construction traffic will be guided by a traffic impact assessment undertaken during the detailed design stage of the Runway Development Program.

    It is expected that the use of McNabs Road will be limited to light vehicle movements only and is not intended to be used for construction traffic.

    Access for construction vehicles will be further developed in consultation with VicRoads and other relevant stakeholders during the detailed design phase, as part of the construction traffic management plan for the project.


  • Will you be required to acquire more land in a McNabs Rd, Keilor due to the new Runway (the build or the use and ANEF levels)?

    SabrinaMaree asked about 2 months ago

    Hi SabrinaMaree,

    Australia Pacific Airport (Melbourne) (APAM), which manages Melbourne Airport, leases the airport site from the Commonwealth Government.

    Most of the land required to build a new runway is included in the airport site lease with the exception of some small internal roads.

    Acquiring these roads is progressing through the Commonwealth Government acquisition process.

    We expect these roads to be included in the APAM lease before public exhibition.

    The ANEF, taking into account the planned new runway, is available in the 2018 Master Plan.



  • 1. Have you factored in the transactional risk and Business risk if high speed rail linking east coast capital cities is developed in the next decade to provide a high speed comfortable alternative to some of the busiest domestic flight routes? How will this impact the Runway Development Program? 2. Have you factored in the regulatory risk of capacity constraints for flying due to growing unease about the growth in aviation emissions and non-CO2 impact of aviation on the Runway Development Program? 3. As new runways increase the flight capacity, will you include projections for increase in aviation emissions and non-CO2 climate impact of aviation as part of the Runway Development Program? How will this be consistent with meeting international climate commitments made by Australia of striving to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C.

    John Englart asked 3 months ago

    Hi John, thanks for contacting us. Below is some information in response to your questions.

    1. Have you factored in the transactional risk and Business risk if high speed rail linking east coast capital cities is developed in the next decade to provide a high speed comfortable alternative to some of the busiest domestic flight routes? How will this impact the Runway Development Program? 

    Our planning takes many variables into account, and factors such as future passenger forecasts are updated as part of our regular planning cycle. For example, between the 2013 and 2018 Master Plans for Melbourne Airport, our long-term passenger forecast was adjusted to reflect changes in demand for both domestic and international passengers. While Australia’s airports predominantly service domestic passengers today, the fastest-growing demand is from international passengers, and that is a trend that will continue into the future.

    2. Have you factored in the regulatory risk of capacity constraints for flying due to growing unease about the growth in aviation emissions and non-CO2 impact of aviation on the Runway Development Program?

    We’re conscious of the carbon footprint of our operation, which is why we are signed up to Airport Carbon Accreditation (https://www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org/). You may also be aware that recently we built our own gas-fired tri-generation power plant, and we announced last year plans to build a solar array on our airfield. These are just some of the projects in our pipeline that will help tackle carbon emissions from the airport itself. Regarding emissions from aviation more generally, the global industry association for airlines, IATA, has some great information about the airline industry’s efforts to tackle its emissions challenges – you can read more about that at this link: https://www.iata.org/policy/environment/Pages/climate-change.aspx

    3. As new runways increase the flight capacity, will you include projections for increase in aviation emissions and non-CO2 climate impact of aviation as part of the Runway Development Program? How will this be consistent with meeting international climate commitments made by Australia of striving to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C.

    Please refer to our response to question 2 about the work we are doing.



  • Other than the RDP overview and fact sheet are there any other documents that are public? How will I know if this will impact my property in Jacana?

    Jo Massoud asked 3 months ago

    Hi Jo, thanks for your question. Let me direct you to some other information that we have available at this time about the Runway Development Program.

    The Melbourne Airport Noise Tool provides information about the predicted land use planning and noise impacts, as outlined in the 2018 Master Plan. You can enter your actual address into the tool to see the predictions. https://www.melbourneairport.com.au/noisetool/

    A property values study has been completed as part of Melbourne Airport's planning for its Runway Development Program. You can read more about the Property Values Study here: https://my.melbourneairport.com/Property-values 

    Melbourne Airport has a Community Hot Desk set up in Broadmeadows on Wednesday 13 March 2019. You are welcome to drop in between 9am and 4pm to chat to staff. The address is: Hume Global Learning Centre, 1093 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows

    I hope that this has helped at this stage. The MDP will be made available for the public exhibition period - that time is yet to be announced.

  • Is there any update on the timing of: 1. The MDP for the third runway. 2. The design of the T2 retail and lounge expansion. 3. Which domestic gates will become swing gates. Many thanks.

    Anton asked 3 months ago

    Hi Anton, thanks for contacting us. We don't have updates on the projects that you have asked about yet. If you are registered with us on this site we will let you know as updates are made.

  • Who owns the land you are going to be developing for the 3rd runway? Have they been consulted and compensated?

    SUEMCKOY asked 6 months ago

    Hi SUEMCKOY, thanks for contacting us.

    Australia Pacific Airport (Melbourne), which manages Melbourne Airport, leases the airport site from the Commonwealth Government.

    Most of the land required to build a new runway is included in the airport site lease with the exception of some small internal roads.

    Acquiring these roads is progressing through the Commonwealth Government acquisition process.

    We expect these roads to be included in the APAM lease before public exhibition.


  • Will the new runway impact even more over sunbury

    Elsie asked 8 months ago

    Hi Elsie, thank you for your question.

    The dominant flows of aircraft during peak periods are forecast become east-to-west and west-to-east from the airport when the new runway system is operational.

    Studies for the RDP Major Development Plan have identified Noise Abatement Procedures that aim to direct the majority of night flights over less populated areas to the north and west of the airport.

    The areas north and west of Melbourne Airport form part of the Sunbury Green Wedge and Western Plains North Green Wedge. Development in these areas is restricted in order to protect the areas themselves and the infrastructure that they permit, including Melbourne Airport.

    Read more about the forecast in the 2018 Preliminary draft Master Plan, Part C, Section 9.2.  A more detailed description will be in the Major Development Plan we are preparing for public exhibition later this year.

    Head to the Melbourne Airport Noise Tool where you can enter Sunbury into the address bar of the tool and see the predicted noise contours for Sunbury based on the new runway system.


  • Just a reply to your answer which i think didnt answer my question, you mentioned the take off between 11pm and 6am, i was talking about the landing instead at night. Can you tell me the impact for the night landing, eg sundays as you can imagine their is lots of landings occuring continuously throughout the night.

    johnkk asked 8 months ago

    Hi johnkk, thanks for getting back to us. The proposed Noise Abatement Procedures prioritise night mode (11pm - 6am) arrivals from the north and west too. These procedures would mean less than six per cent of night arrivals would come from the east. You can read more about this in Part C of the Preliminary Draft 2018 Master Plan. A more detailed description will be in the Major Development Plan we are preparing for public exhibition later this year.


  • Just wondering why details, impacts of any possible new MAEO's are being withheld till after the minister has approved the plan.

    nao asked 8 months ago

    Hi nao, thanks for contacting us with your question.

    We are preparing the Major Development Plan (MDP) for the Runway Development Program (RDP) to go on public exhibition later in the year. This will include an assessment of the RDP’s consistency with the applicable planning legislation and policies and will describe the potential land use and planning impacts of the RDP. This means you will have an opportunity to review the plan.

    The Victorian Minister for Planning has indicated they will consider the MDP along with the 2018 Master Plan when reviewing the MAEO. 

    Australian Noise Exposure Forecasts (ANEFs) are the official forecasts of future noise exposure patterns around an airport and constitute the contours on which land use planning authorities base their controls. You can find out more information about the ANEF for Melbourne Airport now in the Preliminary Draft 2018 Master Plan, Part C, Section 9.2, page 93.



  • Hi there, it seems that i now live directly under the flight path in your Green Wedge and planes fly 24/7 much to my disappointment. After 30 quiet years in Gisborne South the new flight route has ruined my life and others. To date no one has been able to inform me what the night decibel reading will be as we are quite elevated and live 20ks from the airport. You would think it would be quite low but the my.melbairport people said it would be the same decibel reading of a truck. He also hoped i was not a light sleeper! Why not have a real reading and inform us what to expect as this is unfair as the flight path could easily widen by 4 ks and go over the Wombat or Bullengarook forest and not disturb families with young children. Some of the planes fly at a higher altitude with a more reasonable decibel level so why cant all the planes be at that pitch?

    JB asked 8 months ago

    Hi JB, thanks for getting in touch again. We are glad that you made it to one of our Master Plan forums.

    We are preparing the Major Development Plan for the Runway Development Program to go on public exhibition later in the year. If approved, Melbourne Airport hopes to have the new runway system operational by 2023. The Major Development Plan is a detailed document specifically about the new runway and its benefits as well as more information about, and potential management measures for, noise, environment, health and social impacts.

    Melbourne Airport is currently organising a program of forums specifically about the new runway to coincide with when the Major Development Plan is released for public exhibition. You are welcome to attend to find out more detail and ask more questions. Details of those forums will be made available once they are confirmed.

    If you feel that there has been some recent changes to flights over your area, current information about Airservices’ management of air traffic around Melbourne Airport is on its website.


  • i live near mill park and i hear the planes roaring past all the time at 3800 ft especially at night time. I dont see it anywhere near my house where the noise contours are. Why are you understating the real noise area that it impacts. Its alot bigger than what you state on your noise impacts

    johnk asked 10 months ago

    Hi johnK, thanks for your question. Aircraft noise is measured using the Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) system. This system has been used by airports for more than 30 years as the primary measure of aircraft noise in and around airports. The ANEF takes into account the expected number of movements, types of aircraft and their noise and performance characteristics and the distribution of air traffic by time period of arrivals and departures.

    In addition to the ANEFs, a supplementary noise metric known as the “N-contour” system is also used. This includes a measurement system based on the number of aircraft noise events exceeding 70, 65 or 60 decibels of those noise contours and this is what is illustrated on the noise tool.

    With the third runway in operation, it is planned that at night time (between 11pm and 6am) the large majority of departures would be directed over less populated Green Wedge areas to the north and west.

    You can read more about noise at the airport in our factsheet that you can find here


  • Hi will this developenent bring any extra overlays to the new areas around the airport?

    Taz asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for getting in touch Taz. The state government has indicated that the Melbourne Airport Environs Overlay (MAEO) will be reviewed after the 2018 Master Plan (including the Runway Development Program) and the associated Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) have been approved. For more information you can read about the MAEO in the 2018 Preliminary Draft Master Plan here.


  • It seems the noise contours could change slightly with the extension of the east west existing runway. Does it mean they will be in the air longer and land later. The contours before RDP and post RDP show a slight difference. is that true or not.

    john122 asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for contacting us john122. Making the existing east-west runway longer means that planes will land and take off from different positions than they currently do. 

    In Part C, Chapter 9 of the 2018 Preliminary Draft Master Plan, if you compare ANEC 1 to ANECs 2 and 5 this shows the differences between the existing two-way runway system and the proposed three runway system that includes the extension of the existing east-west runway.


  • Hi, it was said the MDP for the East-West runway would be released mid 2018. Is it possible to advise on the exact details of the release date?

    asked 10 months ago

    The RDP MDP will now be going on public exhibition in early December 2018. We do recognise this means the exhibition will run over the Christmas holiday period. For this reason we are also working on an extension to the 60-day exhibition period to ensure the community and other stakeholders have enough time to make submissions.


  • Will there be any increase of Existing North South Runway North Side? What will be exact length of existing North South Runway once third Runway is built? Can I get drawing sketch of all three runways.

    Karan asked 11 months ago

    Hi Karan, thanks for your question.

    The Runway Development Program is for the construction of a new east-west runway and extension to the existing east-west runway. 

    If the Runway Development Program is approved, the existing north-south runway will not be changed but it will be used less frequently. The north-south runway (R16/34) is 3,657m.

    While we wait for our updated image of the planned runway configuration for the RDP to put on the website, you can see a development concept plan in the Draft 2018 Master Plan - Part C, page 88. You can find that here: https://my.melbourneairport.com/masterplan

  • Will there be any changes to Existing North South Runway and changes to Noise Levels ( Keilor Side)? I have heard that there will reduced Aircraft Traffic on existing North South Runways once third Runway is built.

    Vijay777 asked 11 months ago

    Hi Vijay777

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    Currently, most of the aircraft noise experienced by residents around Keilor comes from the north-south runway.

    If the new, east-west oriented runway is approved, the existing north-south runway will be used less frequently once it is built.

    Exact noise contours are still being developed and will be available before public exhibition to explain where the impacts are.

    The new runway is unlikely to add any more noise than is currently being experienced by residents in this area.


  • Hi. Has the alignment of the proposed new E/W Runway been changed from that originally proposed. Why, for what reason, and who was the authority proposing and requesting the alteration.

    Oldie asked 11 months ago

    Thanks for your question. The RDP design is consistent with the 2013 Master Plan. The proposed new east-west runway (09R/27L) will be 3000 metres long and lie approximately 2,035 metres south of the existing east-west runway (09L/27R).

  • Hello, I am a masters student at RMIT undertaking a research assignment on the proposed development of the 3rd runway at Tullamarine Airport. I was wondering if i could obtain a copy of the master plan for the proposed development?

    Hayten Aktay asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Hayten, thanks for getting in touch. 

    We are currently finalising the Major Development Plan for the Runway Development Program, which proposes a third, east-west, runway at Melbourne Airport.

    The proposed new runway appears in the 2013 Master Plan, which is available at https://www.melbourneairport.com.au/Corporate/Planning-projects/Master-plan.

    The 2018 Master Plan is also being finalised and both plans will be available for public comment mid-2018.

  • What will be the length of the new e/w runway be? How long will the existing e/w runway be extend. i.e current v future length. Is the N/S is approx 3.2km? tnx

    A asked about 1 year ago

    Hi A, thanks for your question. 

    We are seeking approval to build a new east-west runway that is 3,000m long.

    The existing east-west runway is currently 2,286m long and will be extended to 3,378m.

    The north-south runway is 3,657m long. 

  • When new runway start and finish?

    Will asked about 1 year ago

    Hi Will, thanks for your question. 

    If approved, construction on the Runway Development Project will commence mid-2019 and will be finished by 2022.

  • length of the developing runway thank you

    king asked about 1 year ago

    Hi king, the proposed new east-west runway will be 3000 metres long.

  • why do planes fly sooo low over lancefield 3435

    toolow asked about 1 year ago

    Hi toolow,

    There could be a few reasons as to why you have noticed low air traffic around the Lancefield area. 

    In accordance with CASA rules, Airservices Australia is redesigning some of its landing approaches at airports around the country to ensure they continue to have the safest and most efficient air traffic management system possible. For more information you can have a look at http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/projects/aircraft-navigation-modernisation-program/

    You may also find that some of the flight corridors have changed slightly over the past few months. You can find more information on this on the Airservices Australia website: http://aircraftnoiseinfo.bksv.com/melbourne/flight-paths/

    The Airservices website is a really interesting and useful resource for this type of information.