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Greens push to introduce Brisbane Airport curfew

written by Hannah Dowling | February 14, 2022

A Qantas 737-800 as shot at Brisbane BNE by Rob Finlayson.

The Greens are set to introduce a new bill in federal parliament in an attempt to impose a flight curfew and hourly flight caps on Brisbane Airport, following months of community outcry over flight noise.

Greens leader Adam Bandt is expected to introduce the bill on Monday, titled the Brisbane Airport Curfew and Demand Management Act, which outlines a proposed curfew that prevents non-emergency flights from operating to or from Brisbane Airport between 10pm and 6am.

The proposed bill also would impose a limit of 45 flights per hour on the airport.

It comes after residents of inner-city Brisbane suburbs spent months lobbying and protesting against excessive aircraft noise pollution over their homes following the introduction of Brisbane’s second parallel runway.

The airport opened its new parallel runway in July 2020, and simultaneously implemented a slew of new flight paths that residents have since stated do not meet the expectations set in consultation with the community prior to the runway’s approval.

In recent weeks, Airservices Australia and Brisbane Airport have publicly committed to work through a number of possible solutions to send more aircraft over Moreton Bay as opposed to the city.

However, Bandt states more still needs to be done, and the airport needs a curfew and long-term operating plan to redirect more flights over Moreton Bay and manage noise pollution.

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“These are incredibly reasonable and moderate measures that airports around the world have already adopted, including at Sydney Airport,” Bandt said.

“The question Labor and the Liberals must answer is: if it’s good enough for Sydney Airport, why is it not good enough for Brisbane?”

Max Chandler-Mather, the Greens candidate for Griffith, said he has spoken with some of the most-affected Brisbane residents, and sees the curfew and long-term operating plan as justified.

“Everyone should have the right to a good night’s sleep, and that’s impossible when flights are screeching over your house at 3am,” he said.

It also comes after Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff told 4BC radio that imposing a flight curfew on the airport would be unlikely to help with flight noise complaints, and would be the “worst thing to happen” to the airport.

While de Graaff noted that despite some sentiment in the community supporting the introduction of flight curfews on Brisbane Airport, he doesn’t see it as a viable solution.

“[A curfew would be] the worse thing that could happen to our airport,” he said.

“And it’s not going to help too much, because during the night, there are not that many flights.

“So, I think there are other and better opportunities for us to explore, together with air traffic control, to make the situation better in the best interest of all people living in Brisbane.”

de Graaff said that any restrictions that impose on the number of flights that can access Brisbane would “not be of benefit to Brisbane”, the airport or to the travelling public.

“But what we want as Brisbane Airport Corporation together with Air Services, is to identify and explore all opportunities that exist to make the noise impact on the neighborhood, the community as little as possible.”

Comments (6)

  • Timothy

    says:

    Another ploy the Greens will fail at.

    Most of the passenger flights taking off from BNE post 2200hrs are those going NE to some Asian destination.
    Others’ would be cargo-only ones’ going wherever.
    There’s certainly not that many, so as BAC has said, a curfew would be doubtful 2200-0600.

    As usual, time’ll tell……

  • Adrian P

    says:

    So will the Greens be making a submission to the National Construction Code Review to build better quality homes or is this political opportunism.
    Perhaps The Australian Airports Association should step up and propose improvements to the Construction Code to protect the industry from complaints relating to housing that have poor thermal and acoustic performance.
    Look at the benefits of having a five degree glide slope like they have at London City Airport.
    Leave extending the flaps and lowering the undercarriage to later in the approach which means a lower power setting which equals less noise and less fuel consumption and less turbulence.

  • Rod Pickin

    says:

    It is nonsense to make total blanket ban noise complaints, non specific and without regard for facts plus calling for a curfew reintroduction surrounding aircraft ops at BNE during the dark hours of say 22/23.00hrs to 06.00hrs. It is a fact that purely domestic pax flights between these hours on a planned basis are either zero or miniscule and any variance is fully and understandably explainable; delays/diversions etc. – Yes, there are a few freighter ops but in the low single digit numbers wise and as with any pax ops during these hours the preferred runway for arrivals is over the bay; RW 19L – take offs again over the bay; RW 01R thus the noise complaints should also be almost zero. (there will always be someone who complains). International ops and yes there quite a few during the hours in question are again subject to the same take off and landing preferred options as above. It is only when the prevailing weather conditions eg wind speed and direction are at such rates coming from the land mass that take offs, for safety reasons, then have to be be inland on the preferred RW 19L. Remember we can’t control the weather and our geographic position in the world is such that whilst it is the greatest island place on earth in some cases we have to accommodate the travel time needs and wishes of those offshore from us, but in any event, take offs over the land in these circumstances at the hours in question again is at absolute minimal levels. Another significant factor at this time, hey folks, there is an election coming and not surprisingly the noise base is coming from “The Greens” who seek to change our living situations without identifying a specific achievable and fully reliable energy source alternative which, don’t forget folks, includes JetA1. The end result folks is that for some few weeks to come this topic will rise and fall like the tides and at least, proponents of a curfew will always have options if unsuccessful in their objective.

  • Marum

    says:

    Once again, in our perversion of democracy, the minority are attempting to dictate to the majority. Due to the way our system works, a couple of thousand signatures on a bit of paper, will normally cause your local member to cave in.

    Rule by noisy minorities….Marum.

  • Shane

    says:

    Isn’t Adam Bandt the federal member for Melbourne, so why is he getting involved with BNE issues?
    Surely the solution would be to place a curfew only on the new western runway, allowing the small number of required flights to operate from the original eastern runway.
    Anyone with complaints about the original eastern runway, should have completed their research before purchasing properties in and around approaches to a major International airport, that’s been in its current position since the late 80s. Prior to that, Eagle farm wasn’t that far displaced from BNE’s current location, which has been in operations from the 1920s, before most if not all current residents were born.

    • Adrian P

      says:

      From https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/aviation/airports/economic-regulation/introduction
      “Prior to 1997, Australia’s major airports were operated and managed by the Federal Airports Corporation (FAC), a self-regulated Government-owned business enterprise. Between 1997 and 2003, the Australian Government sold long term leases over the 22 FAC-operated airports to the private sector (50-year leases with options to renew for a further 49 years).” Hence the reason for federal members obligation to show an interest as the airports are on federal land.
      Problem is will Adam Bandt make a contribution to the Melbourne Airport RDP public consultation process or wait till the runway is built?
      Also proposing a movement limit of 45 movements an hour at Brisbane makes two runways unviable, which means an end to Simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations, which means going back to fifty percent of the movements flying over the city.

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