The National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF), and its associated guidelines, aim to:

  • improve community amenity by minimising aircraft noise-sensitive developments near airports.
  • improve safety by ensuring aviation safety requirements are recognised in land use planning and development decisions.

Further information about the NASF and its principles and guidelines are available on the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) website.

Melbourne Runway

The NASF was agreed to by Commonwealth, state and territory transport ministers at the meeting of the then Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure in May 2012. Each jurisdiction is responsible for implementing NASF into their respective planning systems.

Download the communiqué


General NASF process

The Victorian Government is committed to implementing the principles of NASF. Amendment VC128 introduced consideration of NASF into the Planning Policy Framework by referencing the framework under Clause 18.04 (now under Clause 18.02-7S Airports and airfields).

NASF informs informs land use and development approval processes to protect the safe and efficient operation of all airports in Victoria and aviation infrastructure. Amendment VC128 builds on Victoria's long-established framework of planning protections for the state's airports and airfields.

Since its release, NASF has also been reflected in key state strategic land use and transport documents that are referenced in planning schemes, including Plan Melbourne and Regional Growth Plans.

Issues covered

Early consultation

The proponent of a proposed land use change or development (e.g. rezoning, residential subdivision, telecommunications tower, multi-storey building) or any activity (e.g. crane operation, emission of particulates or gases) that may impact the operation of an airport and its aircraft should notify the airport operator in the first instance of the proposal.

Notification should occur at the earliest opportunity in the development process, well before permit applications or proposals are submitted to the responsible authority for consideration.

Aircraft noise (NASF Guideline A)

Managing the use and development of land in airport environs is necessary to protect flight paths from inappropriate noise-sensitive development and the subsequent exposure of further people to aircraft noise. The NASF addresses aircraft noise through Guideline A: Measures for Managing Impacts of Aircraft Noise.

See aircraft noise for more information

Wildlife strikes (NASF Guideline C)

NASF includes guidelines for managing the risks of wildlife strikes in the vicinity of airports.

Wildlife strikes and / or avoidance can cause major damage to aircraft and a reduction in the safety of aircraft operations. Land use planning decisions, (e.g. for a refuse disposal facility such as landfill), and land use management practices can have significant implications for the operation of airports by attracting wildlife, particularly birds.

Further information is available via the following links:

Protected airspace (NASF Guideline F)

Structures such as buildings, cranes, and plume stacks and emissions, and even trees have the potential to create air safety hazards and compromise airport efficiency and capacity. Protection of operational airspace is important to ensure aircraft safety and airport efficiency. The NASF addresses protected airspace through Guideline F: Managing the Risk of Intrusions into the Protected Operational Airspace of Airports.

Other safeguarding issues

The following NASF guidelines cover other, equally important, safety considerations for planning and development within airport environs:

  • NASF Guideline B - Managing the Risk of Building Generated Windshear and Turbulence at Airports
  • NASF Guideline D - Managing the Risk of Wind Turbine Farms as Physical Obstacles to Air Navigation
  • NASF Guideline E - Managing the Risk of Distractions to Pilots from Lighting in the Vicinity of Airports

Additional guidelines relating to the protection of airports are being developed by the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group. These are subject to consultation and Commonwealth and state approval. The Commonwealth undertook public consultation from 11 May to 12 July 2018 on Draft New Guideline I—Managing the Risk in Public Safety Zones at the Ends of Runways. The draft policy guideline aims to inform proposed new use and development.

The Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communities has published further information on airport safeguarding:

Further information on policy and planning permit requirements for wind energy facilities in Victoria can be found on the department's website.

Page last updated: 26/04/22