Christchurch International Airport is appealing to the Environment Court against a decision that could allow more houses nearby, saying its future growth is at risk.
Independent resource management commissioners have changed a rule which potentially allows more noise-sensitive development within the airport's 50-decibel contour from Rolleston to Kaiapoi.
Previously, the rule said noise-sensitive development, including housing, should be avoided within the contour, but the commissioners have decided it should simply be limited.
The airport says if the decision is not overturned by the Environment Court, it is likely that residents would try to get a curfew imposed on the airport in the future.
Local councils are also appealing against the decision. They are worried economic growth would suffer if the airport was restricted and residents within the contour would develop noise-related health problems.