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Gold Coast Airport, Airservices release proposal for instrument landing system

written by | April 22, 2015
Gold Coast Airport terminal
Gold Coast Airport terminal

Gold Coast Airport and Airservices Australia have released plans to install an instrument landing system (ILS) to help reduce the number of missed approaches, diversions and delays due to weather.

The ILS, which assists pilots on equipped aircraft with a precise radio navigation aid, is proposed for flights landing from the north on Runway 14, which the airport says is the direction about two-thirds of all flights land.

The preliminary draft major development plan noted Gold Coast was the only airport among the Australia’s top 12 busiest airports that currently did not have an ILS.


Currently, Gold Coast Airport has the satellite based landing system Required Navigation Performance (RNP), as well High Intensity Runway Edge Lighting (HIRL) that was installed in 2012.

“Although RNP has improved the landing success rate on runway 14, an ILS will provide additional benefit allowing aircraft to land in all but the most severe weather conditions,” the major development plan said.

“All users of the airport (including passengers, family and friends of passengers, airlines, business owners, ground transport services and the wider community) will benefit from a landing system capable of minimising the number of missed approaches and diversions whilst reducing the inconvenience to the public, airlines and other stakeholders.”

Gold Coast Airport said it had averaged about 50 flight diversions a year since October 2010.


Should the ILS be installed, the decision height and visibility for aircraft landing on Runway 14 for landings using ILS would be 280 feet and 1,500 metres, compared with about 500 feet and 2,400 metres under RNP.

“With south east Queensland and northern New South Wales tourist destinations attracting more visitors annually, when this forecast in growth is realised, the number of diversions will increase proportionally if the existing landing minima is not improved,” the paper said.

“By improving the success rate of landings in adverse weather, the ILS will have a direct positive impact on the future operating capacity of Gold Coast Airport. The installation of an ILS will improve airline’s confidence in using Gold Coast Airport and the future needs of airport users will be appropriately met.”

The airport and Airservices planned to hold community information drop-in sessions for residents to seek more information and ask questions about the proposal.

The public comment period closes on July 13.

The proposed ILS installation at Gold Coast Airport. (Gold Coast Airport/Airservices)
The proposed ILS installation at Gold Coast Airport. (Gold Coast Airport/Airservices)

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  • Marc


    Forget community consultation. Just do it.

  • Bob


    As I posted before about a different article, why does an airport have go for community consultation? An airport should be able to do what they need to do without asking the public. Of course, any development that could have a negative impact on community and/or environment need the word of the community, no issue with that. But installation of a ILS system needs the public opinion? What if the public will say no? No ILS system and no added safety? It is time to make changes in or regulations and give airports some space to breathe.

  • Geoff


    Airports need to make operations as safe as economically possible. The ILS has been needed at the Gold Coast airport for several years. The ILS will cause residents close to the airport approach path to hear more noise due to the ‘fixed’ glide path aircraft have to maintain. The airport has been in operation since 1939 and has steadily grown, which also means the population creep to the airport has occurred.

  • Ben


    There would be a minuscule (if any) change in noise on the approach end. However the reduction in go arounds a would make a large difference on the other side.

    However one has to wonder about installing what is now “old technology”. I would think there is room for improvement in the RNP-AR tolerances and what about installing a GLS instead? Then you could get two precision approaches for the price of one. More and more modern aircraft are equipped to use RNP and GLS technology. Provision of this then places the decision with the operator, akin to what has happened at Queenstown in NZ. Upgrade to RNP or go around and divert. Cheaper, easier to maintain and a lower (or non-existent) land footprint.

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