AN increase in jet traffic at Essendon Airport has motivated residents west of the airport to hold a public meeting seeking political support for their cause.
Chaired by the Close Essendon Airport Committee, the meeting will be open to residents from Airport West, North Essendon, Aberfeldie, Essendon and Niddrie. Western Metropolitan MP Colleen Hartland and Niddrie MP Ben Carroll have also been invited to attend.
Essendon Airport has reported a 12.5 per cent increase in jet traffic at Essendon and does not have any limit on future traffic volumes.
The airport has also been pushing for changes to its night curfew, which prevents jet operations between 11pm and 6am.
Airport West resident Geoff Moran said when he bought in Walters Avenue 12 years ago the airport was winding down and his street wasn't in the flight path.
"If they close one of the runways like they have talked about and all 55,000 flights a year are coming over Airport West, I don't think residents are aware of what that could mean to them over this side of town.
"With the increase of fly-in fly-out jet activity [associated with the mining boom] every time one [jet] flies over, our house shakes.
"[Maribyrnong MP] Bill Shorten is not prepared to address our concerns so that is why we are getting Ben Carroll there [at the meeting] to see if he will have a different vision of it."
CEAC president Helen van den Berg said she wanted to know how residents would feel about the expansion of Essendon Airport as corporate jet port
"Do they want to have more jets, more noise and more fumes or have they had enough? Current Air Navigation regulations ensure that jets flying to and from Melbourne Airport fly at 2300 feet.
"All other aircraft must keep a 1000 feet of vertical separation - therefore Essendon jets and helicopters are forced to fly lower."
Ms van den Berg said residents living closest to the airport were forced to limit the height of building extensions with the space above their homes falling within a controlled air space.
"As Avalon airport is underused, it only has 9000 aircraft movements a year, we think the increasing corporate jet and helicopter traffic is better suited to it."
Mr Carroll said he believed the debate about Essendon Airport was not about whether or not it should close, but about concerns relating to curfews being enforced.
"I think the newer jets are fairly quiet, but as I understand it some of the older jets are upsetting people," he said.
"I also understand that many people in my electorate want the airport to stay open."
Mr Carroll said Essendon MP Justin Madden had written to Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese seeking a meeting about increased airport traffic.
"Justin and I need to have a face-to-face with Anthony Albanese and make sure the conditions and restrictions placed on the airport for the community are being met."
Essendon Airport Pty Ltd was not prepared to comment when contacted by the Weekly.
The 'Jets Out Of Essendon' public meeting will be held on July 17 at 7.30pm at Niddrie Primary, Watt Street, Niddrie.