Gold Coast Airport says works on an instrument landing system (ILS) can resume after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) dismissed protests to stop the project going ahead.
In January 2016, the federal government gave Gold Coast Airport the green light to install an ILS as part of efforts to reduce the number of missed approaches, diversions and delays due to weather.
The ILS was being installed for flights landing from the north on Runway 14, which the airport has said previously was the direction about two-thirds of all flights land.
Local community groups had appealed to the AAT for the project to be halted. However, the Tribunal said on Friday the work could continue.
Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Marion Charlton said the ILS would make the airport more reliable.
“We are pleased with today’s decision and will now turn our focus to working with Airservices on the construction and installation phase of the project,” Charlton said in a statement.
Further, Charlton said the airport had agreed to noise abatement procedures (NAP) to ensure use of the ILS would be kept to a minimum during fine weather conditions.
“The development of NAPs was required for the ILS flightpath and formed part of the Minister’s approval last year,” Charlton said.
“These procedures are designed specifically to ensure impact to the community in terms of aircraft noise is kept to a minimum.”
Originally, construction was expected to be completed later in 2017, in time for the city’s hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
However, Gold Coast Airport said in a statement that timeline was being reviewed.
Gold Coast is the only airport among the Australia’s top 12 busiest airports that currently did not have an ILS. The airport has satellite-based landing system Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approaches, while High Intensity Runway Edge Lighting (HIRL) was installed in 2012.
Then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said when approving the ILS in January 2016 that Airservices had been advised to “make every effort to minimise the use of the ILS while meeting air safety requirements”.
Also, the ILS was expected to be used for “no more than 10 per cent of the time” on fine weather days and when Runway 14 was in use. And there would be no change to Gold Coast Airport’s 2300 to 0600 curfew.
“No additional residents will be exposed to noise levels greater than 60dB(A) in these conditions. By way of reference, 60dB(A) is roughly equivalent to the noise level of normal conversation and 70dB(A) is similar to the noise of a nearby passing car,” Truss said at the time.