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Piper Comanche’s touch and go tests new Brisbane runway

written by Adam Thorn | May 25, 2020

Lance Broad Piper Comanche
A Piper Comanche completes the first ‘touch and go’ landing on Brisbane Airport’s new runway (Lance Broad, Brisbane Airport)

A Piper Comanche completed the first touch and go landing on Brisbane’s new $1.1 billion runway on Saturday.

The test was one of two flight checks conducted in advance of the first passenger jet landing on Saturday, 12 July.

The second, overseen by Airservices Australia, tested the approaches from the north and south without touching down.

Brisbane’s runway project director Paul Coughlan said the pre-opening procedures aimed to test the lighting system that provide “critical guidance” to aircraft approach, including the Precision Approach Path Indicator and runway lightning.

“Another significant milestone was achieved earlier this week, with the introduction of airspace changes and new flight paths from Thursday, 21 May,” said Coughlan.


“Brisbane residents may notice some changes overhead with these new flight paths coming into effect in preparation for the opening of the Brisbane’s new runway.”

A touch and go landing is one where an aircraft touches down but then, without stopping, continues to take off.

The test flights are part of several conducted since March and form a part of the so-called operational readiness and testing program which included emergency exercises, the decommissioning of Runway 14/32 and the implementation of stop bars.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Airport’s new flight paths came into effect from 21 May in preparation for the opening of its new runway.

Once the new strip is in operation, aircraft will be able to take off over the bay at night, rather than across the city, reducing noise for locals.

The airport has also updated its flight path website, allowing residents to type in their address to find out information as to when aircraft will be flying overhead, before and after the runway’s unveiling.

Image by Lance Broad (Brisbane Airport)

Earlier this month, Australian Aviation reported that Brisbane Airport’s new runway was completed under the eerie quiet of a coronavirus lockdown.

The project will slowly double the hub’s passenger numbers from 23.4 million to more than 50 million by 2040, increasing daily flights to 110 aircraft movements an hour.

The project was conceived 15 years ago and its construction was a joint venture between BMD Constructions and CPB Contractors.

At its peak, 650 people were onsite in mid-2019 and 324 subcontractors were hired, with around 90 per cent based in south-east Queensland. In total, the state reclaimed 11 million cubic metres of sand from Moreton Bay as part of the works.

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Comments (12)

  • James


    Twin Comanche

  • Interesting that an iconic PA30 was given that honour.

    • Chris


      You’d think an aviation magazine would get the aircraft type correct in the title. I wouldn’t be surprised if next month they just print a “Cessna”

      • Adam Thorn


        Thanks for that Chris. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out the exact model etc before we went to print (or to publish) with our daily newsletter. However, initially, I wasn’t even told it was a Piper so I got those extra details myself. I always try and get those specs in as I know it’s something people are rightly eagle-eyed about!

        Thanks for the comment!

      • James


        Go easy Chris. I pointed it out as a courtesy. They’re busy.

  • Nigel


    What was the registration of the PA30?

  • Mike


    Who was the “chosen” pilot for the first landing on the new runway? The aircraft flew up from Murwillumbah to make the Test landing and runway approaches, then returned to NSW. One way to beat the border checks!

  • Doug Evans


    Pity it took so long.first talked about in the 70’s. Also why is it that private enterprise can build an international airport in Toowoomba in 18 months and yet it takes 15 years for government?

  • Mike


    Rego, VH-SER

  • That’s okay Adam! You’ve done well. Your commitment to the details is much appreciated.

  • Geoff


    Chris – Where did you get this idea from?
    “Once the new strip is in operation, aircraft will be able to take off over the bay at night, rather than across the city, reducing noise for locals.”
    The same rules apply to the new runway that currently apply to the old runway. ATC may not nominate a dry runway with more than 5 knots of tailwind for noise abatement purposes. When wet, nil tailwind is allowed. That is not to stop a pilot accepting more than the allowed tailwind, but ATC or the airport cannot force the pilot to do so.

  • Neil


    What power to weight ratio are we talking here! Good way to test the strength of the New runway. Hope this won’t be our future flights into Brisbane Airport once they open up the Borders.

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