Essendon Airport

Runways

Essendon Airport has two intersecting runways, one oriented north-south (Runway 17/35) and one east-west (Runway 08/26).

Each runway is referred to differently according to in which direction it is being used. For example, the north-south runway is referred to as Runway 35 when used in a northerly direction and Runway 17 when used in a southerly direction.

Runway numbering reflects the runways’ orientation and correlates with degrees on a compass. Runway 35 is 350 degrees magnetic.

Runway selection and seasonal winds

Runway selection is based on wind direction, weather conditions, traffic volume and other factors. See the Runway Selection fact sheet for more details. Aircraft primarily take-off and land into the wind for safety and performance reasons. Therefore, as the wind direction changes the runway in operation may also change depending on the strength of the wind.

This means that Melbourne’s seasonal wind patterns affect usage of the different runway directions. For example, Runways 35 tends to be used more often in the cooler months when there are frequent winds with a northerly component. Runway 17 tend to be used more frequently in the warmer months when the predominant wind direction tends to be southerly. Often the wind will also have a westerly component, such as a north westerly or south westerly, and for this reason Runway 26 is used frequently throughout the year.

Noise abatement procedures
Noise abatement procedures are designed to help reduce the impact of aircraft noise on communities. While they are applied whenever it is possible to do so, their use is not mandatory and is subject to weather conditions and traffic requirements.

The Essendon noise abatement procedures set out preferred runways at different times.

From 6:00 am to 11:00pm the preferred runways are:

  • for landing: Runway 26 or 17 (equally preferred), followed by Runway 35 and lastly Runway 08
  • for take-off: Runways 26 or 35 (equal), followed by Runway 17 and lastly Runway 08

From 11:00pm to 6:00am the preferred runways are:

  • for landing: Runway 17, followed by Runway 26, then 35, then 08
  • for take-off: Runway 35, followed by Runway 26, then 17, then 08

Runway usage statistics for each quarter are available below.

October - December 2018

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

July - September 2018

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

April - June 2018

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

January - March 2018

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

October - December 2017

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

July - September 2017

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

April - June 2017

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.

January - March 2017

Runway usage – all hours (percentage)

Runway usage – curfew hours (percentage)

The high percentage of helipad use during the curfew is because the majority of movements are emergency services.