The Department of the Environment has approved the final environmental impact statement for F-35 flying operations from RAAF bases Williamtown and Tindal and over the Salt Ash air weapons range.
The EIS approval, published on July 10, is subject to the RAAF meeting 15 conditions, “to minimise impacts to listed threatned species and communities…, wetlands of international importance… listed migratory species … and the environment…”
The conditions include implementing an aircraft noise management plan, monitoring actual F-35 aircraft noise levels to make sure they don’t exceed levels predicted in the EIS, and preparing and implementing a fauna management plan.
In a statement on July 17 the RAAF welcomed the approval.
“In accordance with the EIS approval conditions and the existing RAAF Aircraft Noise Management Strategy, aircraft noise management plans for the F-35A will include regular monitoring, public reporting and community consultation,”said Group Captain Phil Gordon, Officer Commanding 81 Wing.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of the Environment and the community to minimise the environmental impacts of the flying operations, while balancing operational and training requirements so Defence can effectively provide air power for Australia’s national security.”
The first RAAF F-35A is due to arrive in Australia in late 2018.