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2009 Airport
 Master Plan

2009 airport master plan - draft

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Dangerous Aircraft Incidents For Moorabbin Airport
Make Up Almost 50% Of The Total For The Whole
Of Australia!
moorabbin plane crash

              You Live Under All That Aircraft Activity . . .

                                And The Airport Wants To Double It 
             Plus Add in 12,500 Jet flights

flights in just one day

                                        Flights For Just One Day!

(As many as 75% of Moorabbin aircraft do not use their locating transponders so this
AirServices Australia chart is probably a very significant understatement of real activity. 
See the chart at the bottom of this page to get a sense of what the experience is like
for a whole month during summer when people are outdoors trying to spend time with their
friends and family)

When Is Enough Enough?

2011 - 2017
          Hundreds of incidents at the airport and over our homes, most never revealed to the public

September 2012
          Plane crashes a few hundred meters from homes near Moorabbin Airport

January 2012

          Plane nose dive into airport

August 2010

Another Crash into a Moorabbin Family Home

The June 2009 Ambidji Report  (pg. 4 Executive Summary)

Current societal risks at Moorabbin are intolerable . . .

The May 2009 Distress:

At just before 3pm on 29 May 2009 a pilot escaped injury after his plane ran off the end of a runway at Moorabbin Airport.  The pilot was trying to land the Cessna 150.  The aircraft suffered substantial damage. 

The February 2009 Scare:

At 10.00 pm on 26 February 2009, a training aircraft had an emergency landing at Moorabbin AirportThe aircraft initially aborted a landing because of a cockpit warning light.  After 30 minutes the pilot managed to lower the landing gear and land. During the landing the left hand wheel assembly collapsed and the undercarriage and one side of the aircraft was damaged. This could have been another disaster. 

A Long History of  Disasters:

1995:  "Helicopters Collide Near Moorabbin Airport"

1999:  "Moorabbin Crash Raises Regional Airport Safety Concerns"

2000:  "Helicopter Crash Lands at Moorabbin Airport

2000:  "Moorabbin Airport Plane Crashes into Heatherton Quarry"

2002:  "Planes Collide As They Approached Moorabbin Runway."

2003:  "Helicopter Crash at Moorabbin Airport"

2005:  "Plane Sustains Major Damage After Crash Landing"

2005:  "Plane Goes Off Runway into Ditch at Moorabbin Airport"

2008:  "Fatal Crash Raises Moorabbin Airport Safety Fears

These are the tragic crashes at or near the Moorabbin airport.
have been many more fatalities, near fatalities and accidents
incidents associated with aircraft which have either started their
at Moorabbin or have been heading towards Moorabbin.

                        Serious Aircraft Accidents & Fatalities

With double the activity wouldn't it be reasonable to assume
that there will be at least double the accidents & double the
fatalities as the airport reaches the limit of its capacity?

plane crash zone

Is This How The Chart Will Look a Few Years From Now?

     The Aviation Dart Board of The Southern Hemisphere

   The “Almost Fatalities” We Don't Hear About


The preliminary report from the investigation into the August 2008 tragic plane crash near the school in Cheltenham makes reference to radio communications which are issued prior to something which looks like it might become a plane crash!  It is called an ALERT transmission.  We know that ALERT transmissions are not infrequent but the public isn't made aware of them. So we live under averted aircraft crashes and potential fatalities that we are never told about.

Breaking The Rules

It’s not just ALERT transmissions that the community isn’t told about.  Planes and helicopters can regularly breach civil aviation regulations without penalty or change in their behaviour.  For example everyone has seen helicopters and planes flying low over homes or along the coastline.  Many of these aircraft are breaking the law and flying too low and so flying dangerously.  Below is a chart which shows a helicopter joy riding along the coast.  In places it is flying over the beach and coastal homes well below the minimum legally required height of 700 feet.  This sort of thing occurs many times a week but nothing is done about it.  It is made more disturbing by the fact that these same aircraft could simply chart a course a few hundred metres off-shore and in so doing simultaneously reduce the community impact and comply with regulations.  Another version of this community abuse occurs when helicopters (or planes) arrive or depart from the Moorabbin Airport heading toward the coast and make little effort to fly at a sensible altitude above homes but instead justify their low flying based on the fact that they are on approach or departure from an offshore low altitude.  This sort of aviation practice does not demonstrate social responsibility or concern.


The helicopter in the following picture was formally sanctioned by CASA after a member of the Moorabbin Airport Resident's Association submitted this image and a flight chart obtained from Air Services Australia.  The helicopter hovered at a dangerously low altitude over Aspendale homes. The pilot was patently oblivious to the amenity and safety of the people in the homes below.

breach of civil aviation regulations


There are potentially dangerous events called INCIDENTS which occur on a regular basis at Moorabbin Airport.  Incidents are anything other than an accident associated with the operation of an aircraft that could affect the safety of the operations.  Incidents at Moorabbin Airport make up almost half of the total of all incidents for the whole of Australia  (at such GAAP airports).  Yet as a community we have no regular and specific information about the type of incidents associated with the Moorabbin airport unless we dig through CASA documents. 
In a Parliamentary Debate in 1999 on something called the Damage by Aircraft Bill, Mr Albanese who is now the Minister who approves all of the above aircraft activity at Moorabbin (and who lives in Sydney) made a comment to the effect that residents who are killed by an aircraft crashing into their homes will be dead and so won’t have to worry about suing.  He inferred that it was more important to do something about these incidents which caused more subtle forms of damage to people and their homes.

Bird Hazards

Moorabbin airport is a coastal airport so birds are a hazard and this is clearly stated in the airport aviation guidelines.  Birds cause planes to crash.  The following picture shows what a bird can do to the wing of plane.

 moorabbin airport bird hazards

Inexperienced Pilots

Moorabbin airport has the highest concentration of trainee pilots of anywhere in Australia.  The majority of the overhead aircraft in the City of Kingston are being flown by inexperienced overseas trainee pilots.  What a worrying thought.  We’ve all heard about the higher rate of accidents for "L" and  “P” plate car drivers and their much higher insurance premiums, there is clearly a reason for this. Obviously the risk increases for similar reasons when a trainee or newly graduated pilot is in control of an aircraft?  And believe it or not there is a requirement for only two hours of flight instrument training for trainee pilots.  Those eager inexperienced pilots can "get behind the wheel" unsupervised after just a couple of days of flying with an instructor.  By the way, some of the pilots flying unsupervised over our homes right now are only 16 years old.

Stunt and Formation Flying 

Believe it or not there is also stunt and formation flying over the suburbs of Kingston.  Everyone accepts that there are much higher risks associated with this sort of activity.  The Picture below is of three planes practicing their formation flying over our homes. Why should we put up with these pilots playing God with our lives as well as their own and why couldn't they do this sort of dangerous flying out over Port Phillip Bay or out of an unpopulated regional airport?   (All three planes in the picture below had turned off their tracking transponders!) 
[Read More]


Flying Over Public Gatherings

Civil Aviation Regulation 156 says that it is an offence to fly over public gatherings, but there is a loop hole in the regulation which says it is ok to do so when landing and taking off.  So on the 14th and 15th of March 2009 aircraft decided to fly straight through the aviation loop hole and over the top of 60,000 people at a festival on Peter Scullin Reserve in Mordialloc. Clearly there were alternative airport approach and departure routes which would have avoided the reserve on those two days. The flying was not only dangerous and inconsiderate but further demonstrated the way in which the safety and amenity of residents and children in the City of Kingston is regularly compromised.

flying over public gatherings


Moorabbin airport is one of the busiest in the Southern Hemisphere and there is virtually no screening of aircraft or cargo.  The airport facilities are poorly patrolled and planes and helicopters are stored in the open ready for the taking.  In its recent green paper on aviation the Federal Government stated "... the threat to aviation remains, and international terrorist organisations continue to focus attacks on aviation as a preferred target".   So because of Moorabbin airport and the way it is run the City of Kingston is statistically the most dangerous municipality in Australia from a terrorism perspective.   Read More.

The Repair and Maintenance Regulations Are Softer

There is a higher chance of mechanical failure on the sorts of aircraft flown out of Moorabbin because the maintenance regulations are much less stringent for these smaller aircraft what's more you don't have to have a proper engineers licence to service many of the smaller planes.

The Aircraft That ALMOST Crash Into Our Homes & Children

The airport
says it’s safe and that crashes and deaths are rare.

As a community we have to ask ourselves what sort of “safe” do we feel comfortable with. 

Are we happy that planes "rarely" fall from the sky?

Is there a more sensible way of measuring safe than counting the number of planes that almost fall on our children?  There are 90 schools and educational institutions in the City of Kingston.

Most people are shocked to learn that there is roughly the same chance of death by culpable driving in the city of Kingston as there is of death by aircraft crash.  Of course the difference is people make a decision to venture onto the roads.  Also roads are defined and contained transport routes that do not pass over people's homes. It is reasonable to expect homes, places of work and schools to be safe sanctuaries in every Australian municipality. It seems by the grace of God the residents of the City of Kingston wake each morning grateful that a plane or helicopter has not crashed into their loved ones.  
And so as the police count crime statistics and work to make homes, schools and roads safer, the Moorabbin Airport Corporation (MAC) tells us it has a "responsibility" to put more and more aircraft into the skies. 

Apart from the existing shopping precinct which MAC has installed on the aerodrome perimeter and a financial windfall from the recent closing of the public golf course to build more shops, MAC tells us that aviation commerce is pitifully nonviable. MAC peddles furiously to keep up aviation momentum because it acquired the lease on the huge airport site from the Federal Government on embarrassingly favourable terms. To keep the lease it needs to be seen to be running an aerodrome. If it means putting in 100 seat jets, more helicopters and scores more trainee pilots into the skies over our homes then given half a chance it will. MAC openly and repeatedly states that it is not concerned about what happens when the aircraft leave the ground. The planes are almost irrelevant, MAC is essentially a property developer. In an endeavour to maintain respectability during tough economic times MAC then quotes airport employment figures which are bloated by the employees who staff the shops and supermarkets and offices on the perimeter of the aerodrome.  

Sadly the residents of the City of Kingston continue to subsidise this bizarre urban experiment with their most basic entitlements to safety and amenity.

Information On The Activities Of Specific AirCraft & How To Complain

If you believe a plane or helicopter should be reported you need to gather some basic information.

Write down the time and date and where it is flying and the rough direction in which it is flying.  If you have binoculars or a camera you might be able to get the registration details but any identifying details or colour will help.  

Click here to visit the AirServices Australia Webtrak site where you can sometimes get part of the information you are looking for.  This is a new online service which shows the planes flying over Melbourne. The only problem is that planes and helicopters can turn off their transponders and not appear on the charts.  Data obtained by MARA from AirServices Australia suggests that as many as 75% of aircraft in the Moorabbin control zone have their transponders turned off, which tends to make Webtrak look like a rather derisive public relations exercise.

If the AirServices Australia Webtrak site doesn't help then contact AirServicesAustralia directly.  You can either complete their form by clicking here or send an email or even phone them: 1800 802 584 (This is also the phone number for the "noiseline" but there are no noise monitors near the Moorabbin airport so this part of the exercise is all a bit of a farce too.)

Once you have decided that a helicopter or plane is breaking the rules or operating improperly you should contact CASA.  CASA can be contacted by clicking here or by phoning 131757 from anywhere in Australia.


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