Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance – people before planes

Update #7 (19 Jan 2022)

BAPAF today (19 Jan 2022) publicly released its first Quarterly Progress Report (Oct – Dec 2021) addressed to Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce. The report makes four recommendations:

The Forum considers those measures that can be implemented in the short-term by Airservices Australia and Brisbane Airport Corporation are done in the first half of 2022, including:

– the appointment of an independent specialist advisor with the remit to review and make recommendations on all aspects considered by the Airservices Australia Post Implementation Review;

– a 12-month trial to extend SODPROPS active operating hours on weekends between 10pm and 8am;

– a 12-month trial to remove intersection departures for aircraft departing on the new parallel runway towards residential communities;

– introducing a Noise Abatement Procedure requiring jet aircraft to remain on the Standard Instrument Departure path until they reach 10-12,000 feet.

BAPAF Quarterly Progress Report (Oct – Dec 2021), page 3

Barnaby Joyce also issued a press release (“Addressing Brisbane Airport noise issues”), which you can read here. We have collected extensive media coverage here.

BFPCA welcomes yet another vindication for the community that has been led down the garden path and duped since 2007. It is another small step on the way to meaningful change, but we have been promised rainbows and sunshine and heard that line before, “more flights over the bay” – so the community certainly remains skeptical and will continue to push for all demands to be met.

After the ANO report, this is now the second report that confirms what BFPCA has been saying all along since our Feb 2021 ANO submission: misleading and inadequate community engagement, flawed noise modeling, regulatory capture of Airservices and politicians asleep at the wheel. It’s nice to see the bruised community is being handed some bandaids but what we really need, too, is to tackle the root causes of this debacle:

  1. As per our federal petition, the Air Services Act needs to be amended to remove the regulatory capture by the aviation industry.
  2. Airport capacity declarations (ie. flight caps) and a curfew have to be introduced.
  3. A federally legislated Long-Term Operating Plan of similar caliber to the one governing Sydney Airport.
  4. An independent inquiry into everything that went wrong between 2006 and 2020 to bring about justice.

A detailed commentary from BFPCA Chair David Diamond can be found on our Facebook discussion group here. The fight continues. Join us!

Update #6 (26 Nov 2021)

This submission supplements BFPCA’s existing work to provide insights to BAPAF about the inadequacies of Airservices Australia’s PIR process and its supporting community engagement. BFPCA has expended significant effort in familiarising ourselves with complex aviation information in order to respond to multiple fora, outside of BAPAF. These previous submissions are included as appendices: (i) BFPCA’s Community Survey Report (Jan 2021); (ii) BFPCA’s Submission to the ANO (Feb 2021); (iii) BFPCA’s Feedback on PIR draft ToR v0.1 (Sep 2021), and; (iv) BFPCA’s Feedback on PIR draft ToR v0.2 (Nov 2021).

The observations in this document are for BAPAF’s consideration and further investigation. Where appropriate, we provide recommendations on how the PIR process might be improved. However, as noted in previous correspondence, BFPCA has no faith in the PIR’s ability to bring about the necessary changes to improve Brisbane airspace outcomes for the communities impacted. We close by providing a final recommendation for BAPAF to consider in its reporting to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP.

Update #5 (12 Nov 2021)

On Friday 12 Nov 2021, BFPCA met with the Forum (BAPAF) to present the community perspective on the new flight paths, in what we believe was a constructive two hour meeting. Some key take-aways are:

  • BAPAF’s timeframe is one year, although they said they were moving fast and were ahead of schedule.
  • The Forum assured BFPCA that assessing the benefits of the new runway and flight paths is not a part of their scope. They assured us that the outcome of their work will not be a justification that the benefits of the new runway and flight paths outweigh the detrimental consequences for the community.
  • Reporting directly to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, the Forum is in a position to relay the community’s demand for an immediate Ministerial Directive instructing Airservices Australia to fix the problem.

Our message to the Forum was:

  • While Airservices told the community in PIR sessions that there are too many constraints in the airspace above Brisbane which severely limits their ability to make radical and necessary change to the flight paths, Airservices is responsible for airspace design and therefore owns those constraints.
  • Airservices had 20 years to remove those constraints so that the Brisbane flight paths could be designed with noise abatement as a priority. They did nothing.
  • Airservices CAN fix this problem once a Ministerial Directive instructs them to do so.

BFPCA will continue to work cooperatively and collaboratively with the Forum in pursuit of a satisfactory outcome for the Brisbane community. Upload or email your submission by Fri 26 Nov 2021, 5:00pm AEST.

Update #4 (26 Oct 2021)

Following the advertisement on 16 Oct regarding BAPAF submissions, we contacted them and requested the date for community submissions be extended from 5 Nov to Friday 26 Nov 2021. This extension was agreed and will be shortly advertised.

We understand that several submissions have already been received and if you have one ready to go please send it in by the earlier date.

BFPCA representatives will be invited to meet with the Advisory Forum within the next couple of weeks.

We thank the Forum Chair for taking on board community feedback regarding the tight date for submissions and the invite for BFPCA to meet with them.

Update #3 (21 Oct 2021)

We only just discovered that tucked away in the minutes of the BAPAF’s first meeting, it also says:

Community groups/representatives will be invited to a meeting of the Forum on 12 November 2021 to speak to their submission to the Forum.

BAPAF meeting minutes (11 Oct 2021)

Once we find out more about this, we will let everyone know.

Update #2 (15 Oct 2021)

The Brisbane Airport Post Implementation Review Advisory Forum (BAPAF) has opened a public call and invites all community members to provide written submissions on the Airservices Australia Post Implementation Review (PIR). The Forum wants to hear from all members of the public who are impacted by Brisbane airspace changes on what you would like to see as outcomes of the PIR.

BFPCA encourages everyone to engage in this call for submissions and make yourselves heard. If you have already written complaints to BAC, to the Airservices NCIS team, to the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman, to your federal MP, or described your experience in the BFPCA Community Survey, please re-purpose your submission and forward it to BAPAF, too.

We especially urge everyone to emphasise in your submissions that the scope of the PIR process is far too limited and ministerial directives are urgently needed to enact proper change. Furthermore, Airservices are effectively “marking their own homework,” and lack the necessary independence to complete an effective review. Independent leadership of the PIR is imperative to deliver an impartial and unbiased review, and we ask you to stress this point in your submission to BAPAF.

You can also find suggested questions you may want to pose to BAPAF on our PIR page (see Update #6), including:

  • How will Airservices ensure the PIR process is independent considering it is inherently conflicted in conducting a review of its own implementation performance and design outcomes?
  • Why do the PIR Terms of Reference not include any KPIs with regards to articulating how transparency, independence, objectivity and integrity will be embedded in the PIR process?

Upload or email your submission by Friday 5 November 2021, 5:00pm AEST here.

The BAPAF ad in the Courier Mail 16 Oct 2021

Update #1 (24 Sep 2021)

On 24 Sep 2021, Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce announced the formation of the Brisbane Airport Post Implementation Review Advisory Forum (BAPAF). Its terms of reference suggest that:

Recognising the significant community interest in aircraft operations using the new runway system, and the need to have an independent view of the findings from the PIR, the Government has established the Brisbane Airport PIR Advisory Forum (the Forum) as a key stakeholder group to provide feedback and input to the PIR process.

Terms of Reference (Sep 2021)

Given the breakdown in trust between aviation stakeholders (particularly BAC and Airservices) and impacted communities in over 130 suburbs across Greater Brisbane over a long period of time there is naturally a high level of skepticism with the announcement. After the ANO released his damning report, this skepticism is justified, and regaining community trust has to be earned over time by our authorities.

BFPCA continues to liaise with the BAPAF Secretariat and its members to gain more information and detail on the Forum’s processes and objectives, including: (i) committee selection, composition and independence; (ii) transparency of interactions with all stakeholders, and; (iii) committee engagement with the impacted communities and BFPCA.

So far, we have been assured that this is an evolving process and there will be independence, respect and engagement with the impacted communities and transparency in dealings. We have been told the BAPAF Terms of Reference are a first version and is a living document and designed to be adaptable and flexible.

As with the PIR process, BFPCA’s position is to maintain a proactive and constructive approach with BAPAF. We will continue to advocate strongly for the community’s demands.

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