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Brisbane flight path noise has changed our city

You shouldn’t need to be a pilot to understand what’s going on in our city’s skies. Brisbane flight path noise is having a big impact on our city and the community should be able to easily understand and access accurate information **we stress accurate** about flight paths and their noise levels. Below are some tools and a guide to getting the truth out of them.

BNE Flight Path Tool

The Brisbane Airport flight path tool shows the jet arrival and departure flight paths from Brisbane Airport. The tool also provides a noise mapping tool, though our experience shows that this map (also called a noise contour map) is not accurate.

Brisbane Airport Corporation also provides more information about flights paths and noise here. However, BFPCA has received many reports and has first hand experience of how this information is not accurate and downplays or misrepresents the true impact of noise on properties under and adjacent to flight paths.

Flight Radar 24

Flightradar24 is a global flight tracking service that provides you with real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world. 

This is a great tool to see which planes are coming in and to see the flight paths in operation. It also helps you understand which plane models are louder than others.

Importantly, this tool also provides data on plane altitudes in real time, which is also really useful to understand the true impacts of the flight paths compared to the more general information provided by Brisbane Airport Corporation.

Flight Radar 24 is available both through web browsers and via an App.

Runway Operations Statistics

Brisbane Airport Corporation provides a number of dashboards that show data related to the operation of its runways.

These statistics are not real time, but they are useful in understanding and predicting plane movements and runway operations.

Aircraft in Your Neighbourhood

Aircraft in Your Neighbourhood is a tool provided by Airservices Australia that aggregates the information about flights in Australia’s Airspace. You can tailor this to your region by entering your address or dropping a pin on a map.

The most valuable information is under the ‘What is normal in my area’ tab. Here you will find the data on flight volumes, frequency, altitude and, most importantly, noise.

A suggested guide to using these flight path tools

There is so much data, some of it is technical and hard to follow. And… it’s spread out across multiple pages and tools. It’s hard to understand and it shouldn’t be. Obstacles to understanding the impacts of the flight paths are one of the major problems BFPCA has identified that has made the impacts of the Brisbane flight paths worse.

We suggest the below steps as a way to approach and draw the right information out of these tools as a start. Once you’re familiar with the tools, play around! Maybe you’ll find something we missed.

  1. Step 1 – predictions:
    Go to https://flightpathtool.bne.com.au/bac/map and switch to “Show Noise Mapping,” then select your suburb. Scroll down to “view all data” and look for the column “With new runway.”
  2. Step 2 – actuals:
    Go to https://aircraftnoise.airservicesaustralia.com and click on the “Your Location” button (top right). Then select “What is normal in my area?” on the left, and “Brisbane noise monitoring report” from the list (last item). The next screen is best viewed full screen. Select your suburb from the drop down menu.

Using this approach, we have prepared an example below.

Brisbane flight path noise data to be expected according to Brisbane Airport Corporation.

The information above from Brisbane Airport Corporation shows that New Farm can expect 2 to 4 flights a day that exceed 70 decibels.

Actual Brisbane flight path noise data from Airservices Australia

The actual data above from Airservices Australia shows that, in fact, over New Farm in October of 2020 there were:

  • 1,261 at 65dB;
  • 585 at 70dB;
  • 22 of 75dB;
  • 3 of 80dB;
  • 3 of 85dB.

So in fact, New Farm experienced approximately 20 flights a day of 70+dB or more in the month of October 2020.