Airservices Australia has today released its final report of the Brisbane Flight Path Review, addressing issues of increased noise.
The report included four main recommendations, including increasing flights over water, reducing the frequency and concentration of flights over affected communities, a plan to optimise the whole of the Brisbane airspace system and a focus on improved governance.
The investigation was conducted against the backdrop of concerns over increased noise following the construction of Brisbane’s new parallel runway, which was completed in July 2020.
More flight paths were added to Brisbane airport following the runway’s completion, but local residents soon complained about increased noise disturbances.
In the lead-up to the report’s release, there were various calls for flight curfews and flight caps.
Brisbane Airport responded to the suggestions, pointing out that a cap on flights would cost the local Brisbane economy over $1 billion annually.
Brisbane airport’s chief executive officer also warned that such extreme measures would endanger over 9,000 jobs related to the airport.
At the time, Brisbane airport pointed to a report created by TRAX International, which suggested alternative suggestions to the noise issue.
Among these suggestions was a recommendation to increase flights over the water of the bay in Brisbane.
This solution was ultimately found to be the most viable by the official report released by Airservices Australia today and forms one of the core recommendations of the report.
Increased flight paths over water from Brisbane Airport will begin as early as 2023, according to the report, and will include the development of an improved Air Traffic Control (ATC) operating plan.
In addition to the new and improved operating plan, Airservices and Brisbane Airport will also work with the Defence Force to negotiate limited use of Amberley airspace.
These changes, beginning in 2023, are hoped to initially ease the noise issues, but the full range of recommendations included in the report won’t be operative until 2025, at the latest.
For instance, the “noise-sharing” concept included in the third recommendation of the report won’t be implemented until 2024.
As part of this concept, flight paths will be distributed more evenly across different communities within Brisbane to reduce the occurrence of certain communities being subject to noise from both arrival and departure flights.
Residents of certain inner city suburbs of Brisbane, including New Farm, Bulimba, Teneriffe, Hamilton, and Hawthorn, have been subject to particularly frequent flights overhead for the last two years.
Brisbane Airport Corporation’s head of public affairs, Stephen Beckett, commented on the latest Airservices report.
“This report contains a large number of meaningful changes with the potential to reduce flight path impacts in Brisbane,” he said.
“BAC recognises the benefits of Brisbane Airport are shared across Queensland, but the impact of our operations are felt by some residents in Brisbane suburbs.”
“We look forward to working collaboratively with Airservices Australia, the community and our industry partners to achieve sustainable long-term solutions.”