Residents ready for runway fight

(Picture supplied)

By Tate Papworth

Keilor residents are vowing to continue their fight against Melbourne airport’s planned third runway.

Earlier this month Melbourne Airport’s revealed a north-south facing runway was its preferred alignment for the long-planned third runway.

The decision will mean more aircraft flying over suburbs, with Keilor being one of the hardest hit.

Melbourne Airport Community Action Group member Hannah Robertson said locals have wasted no time in continuing the fight.

“Some of the group were out on the weekend and handed out pamphlets to people on the street,” Mr Robertson said.

“It’s surprising how many people are still largely unaware of the actual impact this is going to have on the area.”

While the airport may have changed its mind on the runway direction, Ms Robertson said the group’s goal remains the same.

“The hope is still to put a hold on expansion at airport.”

“There’s plenty of air transport capacity in Melbourne through Avalon, which would have less impact on communities.”

The group is also calling for independent studies to be carried out on the impacts of increased aircraft noise.

“There needs to be an investigation into the real impact of noise on health, education and property value,” Ms Robertson said.

“The public needs to be supplied with independent, unbiased information on these impacts.

“Ideally we’d like to see an inquiry into the future of air transport in Victoria to ensure it’s serving the best interests of state, not just the airport and certain parts of Melbourne.”

The airport expects its third runway to open in 2025.

When announcing the decision Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said the airport would seek to address community concerns.

“There’s a number of different ways you can operate a particular runway system to reduce the impact on your communities and that’s what we need to work through now – how best to run this airport and this new runway system which will create the best affect overall.”