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Fly over bay to stop Brisbane Aircraft noise, says review

written by Adam Thorn | August 22, 2022

Brisbane runway first flight water cannon (BNE)
Brisbane’s new runway opened on 11 July with a water cannon salute to the first flight by a Virgin 737-8FE (BNE)

An independent review into aircraft noise at Brisbane Airport has recommended more flights depart over the water rather than local communities.

The 71-page investigation, which you can read here, also suggests authorities negotiate with nearby RAAF Base Amberley to share airspace.

The airport opened its new parallel runway in July 2020, but locals quickly complained about increased noise as a result of a slew of new flight paths.

The new 26,000-word report was conducted by air traffic management advisory firm Trax, which specialises in flight path design.

Conducted in two phases between February 2022 and July 2022, Trax spoke with ATC experts and airspace designers from Airservices to better understand the technical features of the new runway’s flight path design.


It suggested the key recommendation to fly more over the water should be implemented as soon as next year.

As well as new flight paths, it also advised enhancing “communications around airspace changes” and “optimising the wider Brisbane airspace system to deliver improved aircraft noise outcomes for communities”.

Brisbane Airport chief executive, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said, “Brisbane Airport wants to minimise the impact on our neighbouring communities.

“We welcome this independent report and look forward to working with all partners including airlines to reduce noise for residents.”

The business added it was “eager” to increase the number of flights over the water of Moreton Bay.

Residents of Brisbane’s inner-city suburbs, including New Farm, Bulimba, Teneriffe, Hamilton, and Hawthorn, have spent two years lobbying and protesting against what they claim is excessive aircraft noise pollution over their homes following the introduction of Brisbane’s second parallel runway last year.

It led to Brisbane MPs in April promising the new flight paths would be “ripped up and redrawn” in accordance with recommendations.

On Monday, new federal transport minister Catherine King said, “This report is a milestone for the PIR (Post Implementation Review) with Airservices to continue to engage with industry and locals on this critical piece of work as they seek opportunities to improve noise outcomes for the Brisbane community.

“Trax’s report provides a number of recommendations to improve aircraft noise outcomes, among other things, that will help inform these consultations.

“As promised, the government will proceed with its election commitment to establish a permanent, independent community consultation body to provide ongoing support to better manage aircraft noise around Brisbane Airport.”

Trax’s report isn’t the first to be critical of the new flight paths. In October last year, the nation’s Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) ruled that Airservices Australia did not provide “full and complete information” to Brisbane communities about potential noise.

The ANO launched a review after being inundated with 264 complaints regarding the number of low-flying aircraft.

It said the complainants’ accounts that they were misled were “strikingly consistent” and “the shock they express at the actual impact appears genuine”.

The final report, which you can read here, concluded Airservices Australia “failed to engage effectively with the communities potentially affected by the new flight paths” which was “contrary to best practice for community engagement”.

“Airservices did not provide full and complete information regarding aircraft noise to potentially affected communities,” the ombudsman said.

Complaints included residents arguing they had suffered with stress, anxiety, and interrupted sleep.

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Comments (3)

  • Pete


    “Strikingly consistent”; like they were copied from a template, perhaps?

    Safety first, NIMBY’s a distant second.



    Like the RAAF will give away airspace around AMB!

  • chris


    Inundated by 264 complaints of “low flying aircraft”! Those aircraft were flying at the altitudes that they needed to be at…randomness does not come into it.

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