Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance – people before planes

60 Reasons to Protest: Reason #3 – Airservices’ true colours

BFPCA got hold of Airservices’ “Key Messages” document, which they publicly released by mistake as it was obviously never intended to be seen by Brisbane communities. This document (copy below) was created 02/02/2022 and published in error on the Airservices Engage portal, but then quickly removed from view as it was only intended for Airservices’ airport and airline stakeholders, not for view by the community – it’s easy to see why.

This document shows Airservices’ true colours: The key messages or “talking points” that Airservices here recommends to their aviation industry stakeholders suggest we are dealing with Australia’s government-controlled airspace regulator that is portraying to be simply a service provider in servitude to a national aviation industry cartel that is strategically colluding to privatise profits and socialise losses.

Some particularly appalling passages from this document:

  • “To enable long-term growth at Brisbane Airport (BNE), Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd (BAC) must maintain the ability to operate with minimal operational constraints. This will be achieved through the management of community and political responses…”
  • “As evidenced both internationally and within Australia, increased public pressure has resulted in operational restrictions at various airports, which have significantly impacted route development opportunities, aircraft efficiency, infrastructure utilisation and ultimately, long-term growth.”
  • “The future profitability of Australia’s major airlines will in part depend on BAC’s ability to keep the parallel runway system unconstrained as movements along the east coast of Australia are set to double over the next 20-30 years. The airspace and runway system provides significantly greater efficiency and capacity than any other airport in Australia and relieves pressure on the east coast network, given the 80-movement cap and curfew in Sydney Airport and the LAHSO [land and hold short operations] / weather constraints at Melbourne Airport.”
  • “The long-term benefits of Brisbane’s parallel runway system will only be realised if operational restrictions such as movement caps and curfews are avoided.”
  • “Brisbane Airport’s airspace and runway system provides significantly greater efficiency and capacity than any other airport in Australia and relieves pressure on the east coast network, given the 80-movement cap and curfew in Sydney and the Land and Hold Short Operations (LAHSO) / weather constraints in Melbourne. Without the proactive management of both community expectations and aircraft noise more broadly, long-term aviation growth at Brisbane Airport could be constrained through the imposition of operational restrictions.”

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We ask Airservices:

  1. Why should Brisbane communities provide the buffering capacity for the rest of the East Coast at the expense of our amenity, liveability, health and wellbeing?
  2. What precisely does Airservices mean by “the management of community and political responses”?
  3. The document says, “As evidenced both internationally and within Australia, increased public pressure has resulted in operational restrictions at various airports…” – Yet, this is exactly what we want Airservices to do: Implement NET MOVEMENT REDUCTIONS which bring about actual NET NOISE REDUCTIONS. How does Airservices’ reconcile its industry key messages with Airservices’ own “Community Engagement Framework,” which promises “meaningful and transparent engagement with communities”? Airservices are telling communities that they will “fix” the Brisbane noise issue, yet at the same time they’re telling industry to fear “increased public pressure” like the devil the holy water. Airservices are lying to Brisbane communities. And this entire smoke and mirrors community engagement theatre is paid for by Australian tax payers.
  4. The ANO in his 2021 report “Investigation into complaints about the flight paths associated with the Brisbane Airport new parallel runway” also found Airservices provided blatant lies to Brisbane communities, which were given to Brisbane Airport also wrapped up as key messages or “talking points” (see ANO report section 6.5–6.7, 7.16, 7.20, and report appendix B). Has Airservices learnt any lessons from this unethical behaviour at all? Considering the Airservices Board of Directors have agreed to implement all recommendations put forward by the ANO following his 2021 investigation, why is it that less than a year later, Airservices are found yet again blatantly lying to communities?
  5. How does Airservices reconcile these key messages denying Brisbane communities essential noise protections with their legislated obligations under the Air Services Act 1995, § 9 (Manner in which AA must perform its functions), which requires Airservices to protect communities from “the effects of and associated with the operation and use of aircraft”?

Join us this Saturday and we’ll be making some noise for a change:

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