australian aviation logo

Brisbane Airport says noise cap would cost $1bn

written by Adam Thorn | September 2, 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)

Brisbane Airport has said a cap on flights to reduce noise would cost the local economy $1 billion a year.

The airport’s chief executive, Gert-Jan de Graaff, warned that closing the airport at night would have “significant consequences” and cost up to 9,000 jobs.

Brisbane 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 Greens are pushing for a flight curfew and hourly caps to alleviate the problem, but the business would prefer to follow a recent independent investigation and increase flights over the bay.

“The noise issue is real. People living on the flight path, they are experiencing things that they don’t like; they don’t want. But caps and curfews are not the answer,” said de Graaff.


“Curfews, closing the airport during the night, has significant consequences, economic consequences as well as operational consequences.

“And it will not do the trick (to solve the problem) because during the night we are operating more than 60 per cent of all flights over the bay and we’re only using the legacy runway, so it’s not the newly exposed people that are experiencing any noise during the night.

“Caps are very significant because they will constrain the airport — period. Therefore, that will cap the growth and the opportunity of what we are able to deliver the state of Queensland.

“We’re calculating that at about $1 billion yearly as the impact on the community and more than 9,000 jobs that it would cost, so we think there are much better ways to manage that noise exposure.

“Recently Trax International did a report they presented to Airservices Australia with very good opportunities they identified to improve the situation.

“I think the focus should be on implementing those improvements, and through that way, improve the situation for the residents in Brisbane while maintaining the capacity of the airport and the opportunities that the airport delivers to the state and city to further grow and develop.”

The independent Trax review recommended more flights depart over the water rather than local communities and also suggested authorities negotiate with nearby RAAF Base Amberley to share airspace.

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”.

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.

Trax’s report wasn’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.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comments (2)

  • Matt


    Curphews on Airports are bad. Just have a look at Sydney Airport – if an aircraft gets delayed it causes a lot of inconvenience to passengers if it has to divert to Tullamarine Airport, then wait until the curphew is over to fly into Sydney. With the price of things going up like they are at the moment, this would force the airlines to further raise airfares to cover the costs if they cant land due to a pathetic curphew. Tax Payers of NSW are paying a fortune of a second airport which is partly due to curphews at Sydney Airport.

  • Stu Bee


    Brisbane residents: We need a second runway!!!!
    Brisbane Airports: *builds second runway
    Brisbane residents: Shut down the airport!!!

    All the LOLs

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.