PAL acknowledges that as custodians of the airport it has a major impact on the local area and whilst we may not be the controlling authority on the issues of concern to the community such as noise and flight paths, we have adopted a proactive approach of listening to and working with our neighbours to better understand and empathise with their concerns as reflected in the Corporate Vision, Mission and Values.

About the Airport

Parafield Airport is South Australia’s premier general aviation aerodrome.  It is home to several flight training schools, and is a business and retail hub for the northern suburbs.

Parafield Airport Limited manages approximately 3850 movements every week with the majority being student training flights.  situated amidst civilian national and international air traffic and adjacent to a military airfield, Parafield Airport is internationally regarded for its suitability as a precinct for flight training qualifications, requiring a high standard of performance and output.

The full economic impacts associated with operations at Parafield Airport are estimated to be $184.3 million towards the Gross State Product.  It is estimated that entities that operate in association with Parafield Airport directly employ 823 people on-site and 184 people off-site, for a total of 1,007 people.

As a prominent economic contributor to the northern suburbs of Adelaide, Parafield Airport Limited also has a responsibility to local stakeholders, including nearby residents and businesses to conduct its operations in a sympathetic and sustainable manner.

The airport is conscious of the need to maintain its strong ongoing relationship with the community through regular consultation and discussion.


Hours of Operation

Parafield Airport is required by the Airports Act 1996 to remain open at all times, 24 hours a day each day of the year.  Parafield is an important part of the national airport network. However, some restrictions to flying training are volunteered by the resident training companies at Parafield.  These are specified in the Fly Neighbourly Program. (click here for details)

Tower Hours

The Air Traffic Control Tower (the tower) operates from early morning to dusk seven days a week.

When the tower is closed, the airport still operates and pilots must make mandatory radion calls (Common Terminal Area Frequency – “CTAF”) advising their position and intentions to other aircraft in the airport area.

Pilots are expected to adhere to the Fly Neighbourly Program when the tower is open and closed.


Except in the act of landing or take off and within the airport control area, the minimum height fixed wing aircraft must fly is 1,000 feet over populated areas or 500 feet over non populated areas or the sea. This is to provide manoeuvring room in the event of an emergency and is the height set to clear all obstructions within 600 metres radius of the aircraft (300 metres for helicopters).

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) may approve operations at lower altitudes. Police and Emergency service helicopters may routinely operate at lower altitudes. The altitude of most aircraft in the Parafield circuit is 1,000 feet and helicopters at 800 feet to maintain safety separation.

Runway in use

During tower operating hours, Airservices Australia Air Traffic Control stipulates which runway is the operational runway. Aircraft predominantly take off and land into the prevailing wind. The main parallel runways 03/21 (30 and 210 degrees to the compass) left and right are used approximately 80 per cent of the time.

Current wind and weather information is available to pilots from an Automatic Weather Information Service (AWIS) (08) 8258 4629.


Helicopters operate at a different height to fixed wing aircraft.  Helicopter circuits are conducted at 800ft.  Manoeuvre training occurs just above ground level in the south/west area within the airport perimeter.

Ground Running of Engines

Parafield Airport Limited has introduced procedures for the ground running of aircraft engines for distribution to all airport tenants. These rules ensure compliance to the Airports Act 1996 Airport (Environment Protection) Regulations and, where those Regulations are silent, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Regulations apply.

These rules provide operators on the airfield with instructions to:

  • The approved location for engine testing;
  • The times that engine testing are restricted;
  • The request and approval process for engine testing;
  •  Safety requirements for the conduct of the testing; and
  • The recording of actual testing.

Air Traffic Control and Noise

Airservices Australia provides Air Traffic Control at Parafield Airport.  At some larger airports it also provides Aviation Fire & Rescue service.  AsA also provides noise monitoring at major airports and a noise enquiry unit for all Australian airports to collect data, monitor and report on environmental issues as they relate to the aviation sector.  It also provides and maintains a network of navigational aids and facilities to ensure the safe conduct of flight.

For more information click on the Airservices link below:

Airservices Australia also has a web site called WebTrack that allows the community to see aircraft tracks and noise data around Parafield Airport over a recent historical period.

Link to Webtrack aircraft monitoring

Options available to lodge a concern include via Webtrack, completion on an online form, email or phone call (1800 802 584) and can be found at the Airservices link below

How to Make a Complaint

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman

In September 2010, the Federal Government established the office of Aircraft Noise Ombudsman.

The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) conducts independent administrative reviews of Airservices Australia’s management of aircraft noise-related activities, including:

  • The handling of complaints or enquiries made to Airservices Australia about aircraft noise;
  • Community consultation processes related to aircraft noise; and
  • The presentation and distribution of aircraft noise-related information.

If you have a complaint about aircraft noise, you should first lodge it with Airservices Australia’s Noise Complaints and Information Service.

If they are unable to offer a satisfactory solution, you can then lodge a complaint electoronically with the ANO, or write to them at the following addresses:

Mail: Aircraft Noise Ombudsman
GPO Box 1985
Canberra City ACT 2601


You can phone 1800 266 040 to enquire about the complaint process and to obtain forms or information.
NOTE: complaints will not be accepted by phone.

The service is free and available to anyone.

Airport Operation and Ground Noise

Parafield Airport Limited (PAL) manages and operates the airport under the mandate of the Airports Act 1996 and Regulations. PAL is responsible for those activities that take place on the ground and within the airport boundary.  To enquire or complain about noise generated on the ground please contact the PAL office on 8307 5700.

Department of Infrastructure and Transport

Administers the relevant aviation portfolio and monitors compliance with the Airports Act 1996. Link to Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

Under the mandates of the Civil Aviation Act 2000, CASA is responsible for the safety regulation of Australian civil air activities.

CASA is responsible for:

  • Setting and monitoring the standard for holders of Air Operators Certificates and Licenses;
  • Listing all approved aircraft on the Australian Civil (Aircraft) Register; and
  • The airspace regulatory functions (setting of flight path heights and separation distance) – through its Office of Airspace Regulation.

Aviation Noise Ombudsman

In September 2010, the Federal Government established the office of Aircraft Noise Ombudsman.  The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) can be contacted by the following methods:

Online:  Complaint Form –  General feedback form –

Mail:       Aircraft Noise Ombudsman, GPO Box 1985, Canberra City ACT 2601

Phone:   1800 266 040 to enquire about the process for complaint and to obtain forms or information.

Note:       Complaints will not be accepted by phone.

Low Flying or Safety Concern

If you have a concern about an aircraft that may be low flying or operating in a perceived unsafe manner, the responsible agency is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.  You are encouraged to advise CASA of the issue or incident by phoning 131 757. It is important that you have exact time and location details of the incident.

Our Commitment

Parafield Airport Limited will continue to consult regularly with the community through existing forums including:

  • the Parafield Airport Consultative Committee;
  • Adelaide/Parafield Airports Planning Coordination Forum
  • Airport Emergency and Security Committees;
  • Bird/Wildlife Management Committee;
  • The new Parafield Airport website and the Adelaide Airport web site;
  • Individual letters;
  • Public speaking circuit with local services clubs and industry meetings; and
  • The quarterly newsletter – Plane Talking.

We have installed an Airport Billing and Surveillance System (ABaSS) and initiated the gathering of audited data from relevant airport tenants to ensure that an accurate assessment of known and forecast traffic numbers is available.

We will continue to support the awareness program developed with Flight Training Adelaide inviting the community to attend briefings on the training and science of flight.

We will regularly review our website and include comprehensive information on who to contact and where to lodge issues of concern.

We will regularly review and update an information brochure for community consumption of the role responsibilities and communication methods related to the function of the airport.

We will continue to receive and process within seven working days any issues of concern relating to the airport and its operations and act as a conduit for those issues outside of our area of direct control.

We will welcome letters, e-mails and personal contacts formally lodged to the address listed in our contact details.

Supporting the Community

Parafield Airport Limited is proud to take a strong leadership role in the community.

As operater of one of the most significant buisiness, training and employment precincts in the northern suburbs, our aim is to provide support where it will generate a lasting benefit.

Parafield Airport Limited is working to assist the northern region through our partnerships across the environment, community, business and tourism.

We are helping football and soccer clubs, young athletes, educational institutions, local council festivals, cultural programs and other local initiatives.

Considering moving to the Parafield Area?

If you know of anyone proposing to buy or move into the area around Parafield Airport, we would welcome you referring them to the Parafield Airport Community Information brochure. State and Local Government Planning regimes at present do not have any responsibility for alerting the community or controlling residential development in the vicinity of an airport. However, at Mawson Lakes and the Pines, the City of Salisbury provides written advice for purchasers of property that the suburb is located adjacent to Parafield Airport and is subject to frequent over-flight and aircraft noise.

We would recommend that if you are considering buying or moving to the area, especially within the three nautical mile control zone, that you consider the following before making a decision:

  • Speak to people who are already living in the area.
  • Check if the area is likely to be materially affected by aircraft movement by using the over flight map as a guide.
  • Spend time in the street you are planning to move to or buy in. Make sure you are there when aircraft are operating.
  • Feel free to contact airport management at either Adelaide or Parafield Airports for information on flight paths and aircraft traffic movements.
Where do aircraft fly at Parafield?

As a guide to where aircraft fly around, into and out of Parafield Airport, now and in the future, maps showing the density of over-flights from arriving, departing and circuit training aircraft are shown in the Figure via the below link. This map is based on the theoretical maximum total number of aircraft movements that could occur at Parafield (450,000). Such maps are produced to assist persons considering living in and around the Airport and to advise them of the likely number of over-flights that they may expect to experience now and in the future.

The above figure demonstrates where aircraft on a typical (normal) circuit fly and has been produced using the training aircraft types used and forecast for use at Parafield Airport on each of the four runways, using both ends, combined with arrival and departure tracks recorded on RADAR.
The circuit tracks are theoretical.  Real circuits will vary from the diagram for many reasons including but not limited to, the following:

  • No two aircraft are the same;
  • Turning circles and cruise speeds vary by aircraft (like thos of motor vehicles);
  • Wind direction and strength;
  • Atmospheric pressure (density of air);
  • Performance of different training aircraft types;
  • Human variation;
  • Amount of traffic in the circuit and the need to maintain safe separation;
  • Training requirements to fly different circuits and landing techniques which involve varying angles of descent and approach paths; and
  • Instruction from Air Traffic Control such as to alter path to allow for other circuit traffic, traffic departing or arriving from Parafield Airport
Community Information Brochure