Federal parliament has passed legislation to strengthen airport planning processes and improve community consultation as part of the government’s Aviation White Paper process.
“The reforms contained in the Airports Amendment Bill 2010 recognise that airports exist primarily for aviation purposes, there to serve the national economy and the flying public,” Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said.
The legislation now requires public consultation on runway alterations “that significantly change flightpaths or aircraft noise arrangements through a major development plan process,” according to the Minister, and “prohibit certain types of non-aviation developments, such as residential, aged or community care facilities, hospitals and schools unless there are exceptional circumstances.”
Other legislated changes include:
Strengthened requirements for community consultation under the airport masterplan and major development plan process;
Aligning airport planning and development with state/territory and local government planning;
A requirement that airport masterplans detail ground transport links and information on non aeronautical developments;
Strengthening the requirements for airports to lodge major development plans for developments deemed likely to have significant community impacts; and,
The integration of airport environmetal plans into their masterplans.