Moorabbin Airport safety

What our community wants Improved safety standards and development controls at Moorabbin Airport
Who can take action Australian Government
Category Infrastructure

Kingston is home to the Moorabbin Airport – one of the busiest airports in Australia for aircraft movements. Council is keen to see safety standards enhanced to protect the significant residential areas right on the airport’s doorstep.

Council and the community fear that the proposed draft Master Plan for the Moorabbin Airport site includes too much non-aviation development that: imposes on neighbouring homes, could compromise safety, and undermines the site’s prime purpose as a centre for aviation.

Kingston Council has flagged these issues directly with the Federal Government and lodged a submission objecting to key elements of the Moorabbin Airport Preliminary Draft 2021 Master Plan.

Under the draft Master Plan, which is advertised for public comment until October 2021, large areas of airport land once used for aviation purposes, have been identified for large industrial/ commercial uses not related to the aviation industry.

Moorabbin Airport, located in Melbourne’s south-east just 25km from the CBD, is Australia’s second busiest airport averaging 295,000 movements per year.

Mayor Steve Staikos has called on Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, The Hon Barnaby Joyce to reject the Master Plan until more space is set aside to future proof existing and future aviation activities; buffer zones are added between warehouses/industrial buildings and neighbouring homes; and all references to the airport being located inside the Urban Growth Boundary are corrected.

“Development at Moorabbin Airport should be aviation related and not come at the expense of neighbouring residents or if it puts aviation safety at risk. Buildings should be located away from homes and should leave plenty of open space for emergency landings,” Cr Staikos said.

Chicquita Ward Councillor Tracey Davies said the Moorabbin Airport Corporation (MAC) needs to go back to the drawing board. “The MAC needs to listen to the aviation tenants, and to their neighbours in the streets surrounding the airport, and make the changes we have outlined in Council’s submission. The Airport needs to scrap the plans for even more large big-box development, respect the amenity of neighbouring residents, and provide adequate space for aviation activities at Moorabbin Airport,” Cr Davies said.

Concerns raised in Council’s submission include:

  • Insufficient land set aside for the Airport’s core aviation role and non-aviation uses prioritised over aviation support services.
  • Unconstrained retail, industrial and commercial development on the Airport land poses a risk to other Activity Centres across Kingston.
  • Location of proposed industrial and warehouse buildings along sensitive interfaces – including neighbouring established homes - with no urban design guidance or performance measures to manage the amenity impact on adjoining residents.
  • The loss of green open spaces and the extent to which this exacerbates existing urban heat island issues associated with the airport.
  • Airport safety, noise and the extent of development proposed immediately adjacent existing runways generates issues for pilots associated with windshear.
  • The suggestion that the Moorabbin Airport could appropriately be located within the Urban Growth Boundary and the extent to which this proposal contradicts State Planning Policy.

How do I find out more about the Airport Masterplan and have my say?

You can read the draft Moorabbin Airport Masterplan on Moorabbin Airport's website

Members of the public are invited to make written comment on the Preliminary Draft 2021 Master Plan via:

  • email:
  • mail: Moorabbin Airport Corporation Pty Limited, Airport Management Centre, 66 Bundora Parade, Moorabbin Airport, Victoria 3194.
  • We also encourage you to send your submission/ raise concerns directly with the Federal Department for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development by emailing 

Why are warehouses on the airport allowed to be built so close to neighbouring homes?

The Moorabbin Airport site – including the retail, office and industrial sections - is owned by the Commonwealth Government and exempt from normal state and local planning laws.

In recent years a warehouse with a 13m high wall was built on the airport very close to neighbouring homes on Lower Dandenong Road, despite concerns raised by residents and Council. The proximity of the warehouse to homes would not be allowed elsewhere in Kingston. Currently the Draft Masterplan does not include any rules/guidance on how close building can occur to neighbouring homes.

Airport safety

For many years Kingston Council has worked closely with the local community and the Moorabbin Airport Corporation to ensure strong safety standards are upheld in the airport precinct.

The Moorabbin Airport is uniquely located surrounded by residential areas and therefore safety at the site is a key concern for local residents.

Council is keen to see the safe use of the site as an aviation centre continue but has concerns about the level of development at the airport and how it may impact on safety.

Through a range of submissions, including to the Airport Master Plan, Council has advocated that the airport – particularly those areas exposed to a high level of aircraft approaches – is not developed in a manner that creates an inappropriate additional level of risk.

Stronger oversight of development at the site by the federal regulators would be welcomed regarding the manner in which the aviation and land use activities at the airport will operate and integrate to improve air safety.

Council wishes to reaffirm an earlier submission that there should be no further development that is not aviation-related or Green-Wedge-compliant on the Moorabbin Airport land. This is in keeping with the Airports Act requirement that airport planning should be consistent with State and Local Planning Provisions.

In particular, there should be no more large warehouse-type buildings constructed near the ends of the runways where they may impede the efforts of pilots with engine trouble trying to get back to the airport and to land safely, instead of crash-landing in residential streets.