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.
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