Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance – people before planes

60 Reasons to Protest: Reason #37 – How our curfew was stolen

Have you seen those silly comments from the usual trolls πŸ‘Ή saying, “The airport was there before you”…? Well, two facts: (1) Brisbane Airport in its current location only opened on 19 March 1988. Before that, Brisbane was serviced by the Eagle Farm airport next to Doomben racecourse. (2) Eagle Farm airport not only had the benefit of a much more noise-friendly cross-runway, IT HAD A NIGHT-TIME CURFEW.

Eagle Farm Airfield 1944 with cross-runways

What happened?

Eagle Farm airport had a curfew due to noise pollution over residential areas. When Eagle Farm closed, Brisbane Airport opened in its current location with no curfew imposed. What is now called the Legacy runway brought aircraft in over (then as yet undeveloped) Murarrie. With the removal of the flight paths over the Ascot and Hendra residential areas, BAC argued there was no need for a curfew, and it also suited their commercial interests as a private corporation to have no restrictions in place.

“Night flights to airport unacceptable: Minister” – Courier Mail, 30 Nov 1985

Since BAC has now reintroduced extreme noise pollution even louder, more severe, more wide-spread and more frequent over residential areas than ever before, the night-time curfew must be reintroduced urgently.

Albanese’s Aviation White Paper 2009

In the Kevin’07 government, Albo was Minister for Infrastructure & Transport. He published his Aviation Policy White Paper in 2009 (– a document that Catherine King is now wanting to update). It says:

Further, in his approval of the Brisbane Airport Master Plan in September 2009, the Minister [Albo] detailed the steps Brisbane Airport Corporation would be taking to improve the way it engages with nearby communities and responds to their concerns, particularly in relation to aircraft noise. The Minister [Albo] also committed to the periodic review of the need for a curfew at the Airport.

page 208
Aviation Policy White Paper, 2009, page 208

Ironically, it is Minister Catherine King in the current Albanese Government who is now categorically ruling out to even consider a curfew for Brisbane. The curfew option was removed from the scope of the PIR, and the five community members of the new Airport Advisory Board (AAB) have been gagged and are not allowed to even mention it. But back to 2013…:

2013 Brisbane Curfew Review

It is disappointing to see that “periodic” reviews as promised in Albo’s white paper 2009 never happened – just one: in 2013. It was conducted by a sham committee comprising the federal Department’s Aviation branch, the Queensland Government’s Tourism Department, Brisbane City Council, the tourism industry, and Airservices Australia.

page 7

A departmental minute from 16 May 2012 released under FOI-13-29 lists under the heading “Sensitivities:”

We have not suggested nominating a community representative on the Committee at this stage.


What?? πŸ€―

Of course, further deliberations by this sham committee released under FOI-14-66 demonstrate the careful wordsmithing that occurred of the report’s findings and recommendations in order to ensure Brisbane Airport remains unconstrained and curfew-free – a result that was predetermined before the committee even started.


The review report states:

The Environmental Impact Statement and Major Development Plan for the NPR project that the opening of the NPR will see a decreasein the area exposed to more than two aircraft noise events per night greater than 70dB(A). …, the parallel runway is expected to significantly reduce aircraft noise when a potential curfew would be in effect. Given this, the introduction of a curfew would be an expensive and likely irreversible solution for a problem that will at least in part be shortly be addressed.

page 30
page 30


Airports with curfews

Under Commonwealth legislation, night-time curfews have operated sucessfully for a long time at Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Essendon Airports between 11:00pm and 6:00 am. The purpose of these curfews is to restrict aircraft operations during this time, to provide the communities surrounding these airports with some respite from aircraft noise.

It is a legal requirement to meet the conditions of these curfews. Heavy fines apply for organisations that land or take-off during the curfew hours. While airlines can apply to land during curfew hours, they must be able to prove that they could not make alternative arrangements and the need to land during curfew hours could not be avoided. Such dispensations are only given in exceptional circumstances.

Curfews do not stop all night-time aircraft movements at these airports. Emergency aircraft operations and some freight movements are still permitted, providing the airport operator takes appropriate steps to manage the noise impact from these operations.

BAC spokespeople and PR spin doctors argue that a night-time curfew at Brisbane Airport will paralyse the entire Eastern seaboard, catapult Australia into the stone age and humanity will come to a standstill. This is of course absolute nonsense. Not only has Sydney grown and prospered since its curfew was legislated, the capital airports of the next two Olympic host cities Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 have curfews in order to protect their host communities.

Join BFPCA’s protest to demand a night-time curfew be reinstated for Brisbane in conjunction with a flight cap and a Long-Term Operating Plan.

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