How do I register?

Airservices Australia have launched the Post-Implementation Review (PIR) portal for the new parallel runway, and we encourage all residents affected by noise pollution from Brisbane Airport’s flight paths to register and subscribe for updates. (i) Register; (ii) Sign in; (iii) Subscribe for project updates (top right side of page). A help guide is also available here.

Update #19: BFPCA feedback on the Trax report

To help you send a strong message to Airservices at the PIR Community Workshops 10-15 Sep 2022, the BFPCA technical advisory group chaired by Geoffrey Warrener met Wednesday night, 7 Sep 2022 and discussed the Trax report recommendations and work packages. This is a summary of our feedback and demands, which we ask you to convey at the upcoming community workshops.

Work Package 1 – Governance

1.1 We support Work Package 1. In the lead-up to the election, all parties – including Labor – committed to establishing “a strong, independent, permanent, and fully funded Brisbane Airport Community Forum” with proper community representation. This has to happen now without delay.

1.2 The community no longer trusts Airservices, nor do Airservices bring the required technical expertise and know-how to lead any flight path re-design work. As a result, we demand that the Department of Infrastructure and Transport steps in and provides direct oversight in close collaboration with the Brisbane Airport Community Forum.

Work Package 2 – Maximise flights over water

2.1 We demand that SODPROPS is reinstated as the number 1 priority mode 24/7. This only requires a local instruction from Airservices with 14 days notice. We expect this to be in place by the end of October 2022.

2.2 The use of SODPROPS must be coupled with a binding ATC operating plan including solid performance requirements and KPIs that clearly prioritise safety and noise minimisation over efficiencies and airport profits.

2.3 The considerable noise pollution from turboprop aircraft must also be addressed urgently by issuing a local instruction that sees them turn right tighter immediately after take-off and route back downwind, gaining altitude over water.

2.4 We support the additional measures to maximise flights over water under Work Package 2.

Work Package 3 – Noise sharing

We demand noise reductions, not noise sharing. We will not entertain ANY noise sharing arrangements until all readily available technical AND legislative noise protection instruments have been implemented. This includes:

  • Legislate a Brisbane Airport Curfew Act that introduces a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am;
  • Issue an Airport Capacity Declaration for Brisbane Airport of 45 flights an hour as provided for under the Airports Act 1996, Section 195;
  • Declare Brisbane Airport a leviable airport under the Aircraft Noise Levy Act 1995 to impose and collect aircraft noise levies.

Work Package 4 – Redesign

4.1 We demand that Work Package 4 is fast-tracked and prioritised over Work Package 3, and that this work starts now.

4.2 We demand that an independent and experienced flight path design service provider is identified and contracted by the Department – NOT by Airservices – to lead this work including the development of a Brisbane Airport Long-Term Operating Plan (LTOP). This procurement process has to happen immediately through a competitive and open tender on the Australian Government’s AusTender platform. Trax International is excluded from tendering but can be involved in the selection process.

Update #18: Response to Trax International Final Report

Airservices Australia advised on 31 August 2022 that they “will adopt all recommendations in the recently released Brisbane New Parallel Runway Flight Paths Post Implementation Review (PIR) Independent Review Final Report by Trax International (Trax).

Airservices’ response to the Trax Final Report can be viewed here.

Airservices Chief Executive Officer Jason Harfield said Airservices had carefully considered the final report and adopts all the Trax Final Report recommendations. Community workshops are scheduled for September to discuss the Trax Final Repot recommendations, other Airservices findings and seek feedback.

You can provide feedback on the Trax report and Airservices response ahead of the community workshops here.”

Update #17: More Brisbane PIR Community Workshops

Airservices advised on 25 August 2022 that it will hold another round of Brisbane PIR community workshops. Find out more details and register here.

Update #16: The final Trax report has been released

After the final report was already released to politicians and executives on 1 August 2022, Airservices advised on 22 August 2022 that Trax International’s Brisbane New Parallel Runway Flight Paths Post Implementation Review (PIR) Independent Review Final Report is now available to view. The report can be accessed here.

BFPCA’s first impression and reactions:

  1. We welcome the Trax report and will study its contents and recommendations. However, its scope was limited from the start to only look at technicalities. It does not include readily available political instruments such as: curfew, airport capacity declaration, aircraft noise levies, amending the Air Services Act 1995, etc.
  2. The proposed timeline is too long. People have suffered for more than two years now, yet the most substantial work package will not be implemented until 2025 – half a decade after this debacle started.
  3. The Trax report provides substantial evidence that shows Airservices did not do their job properly in the first place. Communities were told since 2007, “we fly over the bay” – so the community wants to know: Why did Airservices not implement all these community protections right from the get-go when the Air Services Act 1995 legislates that Airservices prioritises people over profit?

The whole aviation industry is in shambles. Qantas is falling over, the airports and Airservices have been privatised / corporatised and are decimating communities with flight noise pollution – we need to bring back strong regulatory oversight to fix the industry. We need a Royal Commission into the aviation industry. Please read the media coverage following the Trax report release here.

Update #15: Trax International – Community Focus Groups

Airservices advised on 26 May 2022 that Trax International (Trax) is holding a series of Community Focus Groups in Brisbane during June 2022. The main goal of the focus groups is to share information and listen and learn from people affected by aircraft noise. The focus groups intend to:

  • Discuss the potential improvement opportunities identified in the Interim Report
  • Gather feedback from communities about their experiences of aircraft noise in different areas
  • Start a dialogue with communities about options to manage and mitigate noise impacts

The outputs of the focus groups will be used, alongside contributions from other stakeholders, to inform Trax’ Final Report.

Trax has provided a flyer outlining these focus groups. This can be found here.

To register for one of the following sessions, click here.

Focus Group Details:

Duration: Each session is expected to run for approximately 2 hours.

Dates, Locations & Start Time:

Please confirm the latest details on the Engage portal.

  • Saturday 11/06/2022 – Wynnum Municipal Hall – 2PM
  • Sunday 12/06/2022 – Samford Community Hub – 9AM
  • Sunday 12/06/2022 – Upper Brookfield Hall – 3PM
  • Monday 13/06/2022 – Toombul Bowls Club – 6PM
  • Tuesday 14/06/2022 – Trax will be available between 9AM and 4PM at Aviation Australia (20 Boronia Rd, Brisbane Airport) for informal drop-in style discussions. Registration for this event, while appreciated, is not essential.
  • Tuesday 14/06/2022 – Bribie Island focus group interest: A suggestion has been received for a focus group in the Bribie Island area. We have proposed a focus group in this area on Tuesday, 14 June 2022, starting at 6PM. An option to register for this focus group has been added to the registration survey to gauge interest. Alternatively, people in this area are welcome to attend any of the other sessions.
  • Wednesday 15/06/2022 – Daytime focus group interest, Morningside area: A suggestion has been received for a daytime focus group, for community members that are unable to attend the already advertised out-of-business-hours sessions. Due to the central location of Morningside, we have proposed an additional focus group in the Morningside area on Wednesday, 15 June 2022, starting at 10AM. An option to register for this focus group has been added to the registration survey to gauge interest.
  • Wednesday 15/06/2022 – Morningside Panthers Football Club – 6PM
  • Thursday 16/06/2022 – Morningside Panthers Football Club – 6PM
  • Friday 17/06/2022 – St Lucia/Taringa/Toowong focus group interest: A suggestion has been received for a focus group in the St Lucia/Taringa/Toowong area. We have proposed a focus group in this area on Friday, 17 June 2022, starting at 6PM. An option to register for this focus group has been added to the registration survey to gauge interest. Alternatively, people in these areas are welcome to attend any of the other sessions.
  • Saturday 18/06/2022 – New Farm State School – 9AM
  • Saturday 18/06/2022 – Hamilton Town Hall – 5:30PM
  • Sunday 19/06/2022 – New Farm State School – 9AM
  • Sunday 19/06/2022 – Cannon Hill Community Centre – 3PM

Trax will be available Tue 14/06/2022 between 9AM and 4PM at Aviation Australia (20 Boronia Rd, Brisbane Airport) for informal drop-in style discussions. Registration for this event, while appreciated, is not essential.

Update #14: Airservices releases Trax International report

After Airservices’ April Fool’s Day fiasco, on Monday 4 April 2022, the press release, Trax “interim” report, and Airservices’ response were re-published in parallel with an LNP Government announcement. You can find links to these documents:

Update #13: Airservices leaks Trax International report

Whether it was an April Fool’s joke or not we do not know, but on 1 April 2022, Airservices issued a press release including copies of the Trax International ‘interim’ report as well as Airservices’ response to 49 recommendations made by Trax, which it then pulled off the web again the same day. However, the press release was picked up and republished by Mirage News and National Tribune. Additionally, the Trax report itself was crawled and indexed by Google and a HTML version is available here. Similarly, “Airservices Implementation Approach to Trax International Interim Report” has also been captured in the Google cache here.

All of this is creating more confusion and suspicion than clarity and confidence:

  • Why were the press release and reports removed again so quickly?
  • Why spent $590,450 (GST exclusive) of tax payer money on a review report that largely contains noise abatements that Airservices should have already implemented from the get-go?

BFPCA is disappointed to see Airservices continue to scramble and dodge behind a list comprising marginal improvement ideas with less than a handful of more substantial concepts without any detail or clear design objectives. As it stands, this does not provide any confidence that real change is coming for those suffering from excessive noise pollution. It also fails to address the other key levers such as flight caps or a curfew.

Update #12: Feedback sought on BAPAF noise improvement trials

On 25 Feb 2022, Airservices issued another update on the PIR Engage website. Key points:

  1. Two of four BAPAF recommendations are now in operation since 24 Feb 2022 and will run for 12 months:
  • Extension of the timeframe SODPROPS (proper over-the-bay operations) will be attempted by 2 hours on weekends (6am – 8am) unless it’s windy, it’s wet, it’s cloudy, it’s busy, or pilots request to fly over the city for operational or efficiency reasons.
  • Restrictions on intersection departures from the New Parallel Runway.
  1. Feedback can be provided at any time during the 12-month trials via this online form.

Update #11: BAPAF trials commence

On 14 Feb 2022, Airservices issued a press release and a related update on the PIR Engage website. Key points:

  • Trax International, a United Kingdom based firm, had already been appointed on 17 Dec 2021, that is, prior to the embargo of BAPAF‘s first Quarterly Progress Report being lifted on 19 Jan 2022.
  • The 12 month trial to extend simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations (SODPROPS) by 2 hours on Saturdays and Sundays (6am – 8am) will commence on 24 Feb 2022.
  • A 12 month trial of full length runway departures from the new runway will also commence on 24 Feb 2022.
  • The proposed introduction of a Noise Abatement Procedure requiring jet aircraft to remain on the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) path until they reach 10-12,000 feet is being reviewed, and Airservices expect to implement this by the end of March 2022.

Update #10: Final ToR and responses to questions on notice

Airservices have uploaded several documents to the Engage portal on 22 Nov and 17 Dec 2021, including:

  • the final Terms of Reference version 1.0 – community feedback was again largely ignored;
  • a copy with marked-up changes;
  • their review of community feedback received;
  • 8 “fact” sheets;
  • responses to the questions raised during the PIR community information sessions.

Update #9: BFPCA feedback on updated PIR Terms of Reference v0.2

BFPCA have submitted new feedback in response to Airservices’ updated Terms of Reference (TOR). Despite all the community submissions and PIR conversations the new version 0.2 is just as disappointing as the original draft. What matters most to the community is the scope of the PIR process and it remains unchanged and it is as limited and constrained as the initial v0.1. Airservices’ response to the community’s feedback and input has been totally dismissive. The damning ANO report findings were down-played by Airservices representatives during the community forums, and there is no evidence that they have taken on board in either spirit or practice the ANO’s findings and recommendations.

BFPCA in its first PIR TOR submission highlighted that Airservices are effectively “marking their own homework,” and the organisation lacks the necessary independence to complete an effective review. BFPCA made 23 recommendations on the first draft TOR. Airservices accepted only two recommendations in v0.2. BFPCA’s position remains unchanged; all initial recommendations are necessary and must be included in the PIR Terms of Refence in order to deliver significant aircraft noise improvement. The BFPCA’s submission for the updated v0.2 of the draft TOR was issued to Airservices on Sunday 21 Nov 2021.

BFPCA will continue to engage in the Airservices PIR process. However, what is needed is a serious independent external review and investigation into the failures and flaws of this major Australian infrastructure project and the resultant excessive noise pollution and widespread public health impact that it is causing to the community over an extended timeframe if not corrected urgently.

Update #8: Updated Terms of Reference continue to disappoint

On 1 Nov 2021, Airservices have made updated Terms of Reference (ToR) and a summary of feedback available. They received 136 community submissions including 32 detailed submission attachments, and 2 industry submissions. Yet, the new version 0.2 of the ToR is just as disappointing as the original draft. What matters most to the community is the scope of the PIR process and it remains unchanged and is as limited and constrained as before. The summary of feedback (64 pages) is largely a dismissal and rebuttal of the community’s feedback and input.

You can find BFPCA’s submission below under Update #3 and the document here. Of our 23 recommendations, they have accepted two: adding BACACG and BFPCA as stakeholders in Section 10, and dismissed our other 21 recommendations.

We note that Airservices went out of their way to accommodate the feedback from airlines and the aviation industry as most of the track changes are to do with airline concerns, e.g.:

§4.5 Engage genuinely with industry – airport, airlines, general aviation operators and industry associations – including industry suggested alternatives.

§8.4 Airservices will offer “direct engagement with airlines.”

Feedback on the updated Terms of Reference and on Airservices’ proposed engagement timeline can be provided up to midnight (AEST) Sunday 21 November 2021 via their online tool here.

Update #7: Community Information Session Video Recordings

Airservices have made video recordings available of the five community information sessions:

Update #6: Brisbane PIR Community Information Sessions Oct 2021

Airservices have advised today on 28 Sep 2021 that they will be hosting Community Information Sessions in October.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions affecting the number of people allowed in indoor venues, and to provide a meaningful opportunity for discussion between Airservices and the community, sessions are limited to 50 guests but will also be Livestreamed.

Please visit the project page for more information and to register your interest in attending.

Not sure what questions to ask of Airservices in the Oct 2021 info sessions?

Here are some suggestions. Please use this form to submit your questions. You can submit the form multiple times.

SODPROPS

Why was Airservices able to quietly remove over-the-bay operations (SODPROPS) from day-time priority 1 mode when that was a key noise abatement measure in the approved MDP/EIS?

In Sydney and other parallel runway airports, SODPROPS are used more often than in Brisbane. Why is their use in Brisbane so limited as a noise abatement strategy?

How will Airservices ensure it achieves the MDP/EIS target to increase overnight over-the-bay (OTB) utilisation to 90%?

PIR

What budget has been allocated to advertise and promote the PIR to the wider Brisbane communities across 130+ suburbs?

Why did Airservices violate its own design principle that residential areas overflown by departing aircraft should not also be overflown by arriving aircraft?

The Airports Act requires the impacts of the NPR once completed to be considered, even if the potential impacts had not been evident in the 1st instance. How will Airservices do that?

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 is the 2007 MDP/EIS not included in the scope of the PIR?

Why is the upper airspace high-level route structure not included in the scope of the PIR?

Why does Airservices rely on the community’s suggestions for alternatives to improve outcomes when in Senate Estimates your CEO suggests that is YOUR bread and butter?

Why does the draft PIR ToR not include any KPIs with regards to articulating how transparency, independence, objectivity and integrity will be embedded in the PIR process?

Why is the scope of the PIR limited to noise impacts when there is strong evidence of other negative impacts that should also be considered, e.g. the potential contamination of tank drinking water?

What is the proposed decision-making process to assess alternatives and evaluate trade-offs between competing principles?

MDP/EIS

What was the role and involvement of BAC in Airservices arriving at a flight path design that maximises the airport’s profit at the expense of noise abatement procedures for the community?

Why did Airservices allow BAC to conduct inadequate community engagement focusing on residents living within a 5km radius of the airport when the nearest residence is 6.7 km away?

How is conflict of interest managed in the relationship between Airservices and BAC, and how does Airservices prevent the risk of collusion and regulatory capture?

MISC

Why did Airservices design flight paths that maximise the airport’s capacity to 110 flights an hour without any proper noise abatements when this capacity is not needed for years to come?

Why are arriving aircraft flying on average much lower over Brisbane than at other airports, which causes aircraft to be on higher power further increasing fuel consumption and noise?

The reduction of noise under the Legacy flight paths seems to be caused by COVID-19. So what does Airservices actually mean by noise sharing here?

Sydney Airport operates guided by a Long-Term Operating Plan (LTOP) – why doesn’t Brisbane have one?

BAC say in their promo video: “There was no rule book for this. There was no guidelines or anything. We had to make this one up.” Why did Airservices allow BAC to make things up?

Update #5: Airservices reschedule information sessions after community pressure

BFPCA expressed our strong reservations and concerns considering the short notice given to communities about the proposed information sessions on 22nd and 25th Sep 2021 with the dates being set during school holidays, numbers being capped at 50 people, and the level of difficulty for interested people to RSVP and ask questions. As a result, Airservices have now announced that they will reschedule these information sessions for some time in October 2021.

Update #4: Airservices announce PIR community information sessions

Yesterday, 14 Sep 2021, 5.30pm, Airservices sent emails to people subscribed to the PIR engagement portal informing them of two upcoming community information sessions for the Brisbane Airport Flight Path Changes Post Implementation Review (PIR). They will be held on Wednesday 22 Sep and Saturday 25 Sep 2021.

Information about these events and how to RSVP can be found on the Airservices Engage website here. To access this website, make sure you register and subscribe following the three steps listed above.

Update #3: BFPCA’s feedback on PIR draft Terms of Reference

The Post-Implementation Review (PIR) has been presented by Airservices and the responsible Minister as an opportunity to review the implementation process, and to identify improvements to the airspace design. Unfortunately, the proposed scope of the PIR will almost certainly produce an outcome without any meaningful improvement.

Airservices are effectively “marking their own homework,” and the organisation lacks the necessary independence to complete an effective review. It is evident that Airservices has been unable to deliver a fair and transparent process for the community to date, and BFPCA does not have the confidence that Airservices is capable in doing so in the PIR. Independent leadership of the PIR is imperative to deliver an impartial and unbiased review.

The proposed process to develop improvements and solutions is equally of concern. The current airspace design is operationally inefficient, does not meet the normal safety assurance principles, and ignores most of Airservices’ own best practice design principles that were in place during the airspace design phase. The proposed reliance on the community to suggest solutions to these issues in a highly complex network of flight paths appears to be an exercise designed to avoid Airservices fulfilling its core mandate. Airservices should instead lead the development of alternatives, supported by an independent technical advisory group to better inform all stakeholders about the range of alternatives possible.

The proposed exclusion of the 2007 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the high-level route structure from the scope of the PIR is also a critical omission. Exclusion of these will prevent the PIR from identifying the issues of most concern to the community, and limit the design flexibility needed to resolve the concerns in the most effective way.

BFPCA have submitted a written statement with detailed feedback proposing 23 critical amendments to the PIR Terms of Reference (ToR). You can read BFPCA’s full submission to Airservices here.

Update #2: Comment on the PIR draft Terms of Reference by 5 Sep

Airservices have released their draft Terms of Reference for its Post-Implementation Review (PIR). The PIR is the primary way Airservices evaluate whether its flight paths are up to scratch following changes it puts in place at airports across Australia. This process starts off by determining what’s in scope and then will progress to the actual review component – the process taking between 12-18 months.

The Terms of Reference (also shortened to ToR) is the document that defines what Airservices will consider as part of its PIR – the scope – and is what is up for comment now.

Setting aside the fact that it is unethical and a conflict of interest for the body who designed the flight paths to also be the umpire of them, BFPCA has major concerns that Airservices’ scope for the PIR is deficient.

We need you to comment on the PIR ToR by 5 Sep 2021 and ask for the following to be included as “in scope:”

  1. EIS 2007 data and modelling as the base comparison for all items reviewed;
  2. Community engagement for 2007 EIS paths and community engagement during the two rounds of changes post 2007 EIS;
  3. Design of the NPR new ‘super highway’ flight path and its compliance to best practice noise abatement practices and Airservices design principles;
  4. Establishment of the ‘super highway’ and the unsustainable inward and outward-bound traffic and its compliance with Airservices stated principle of not moving noise across communities;
  5. Full evaluation of the BAC airport operating modes decision (ie. mixed parallel simultaneous operation) and the impacts on the flightpath design and the resultant noise and other environment outcomes;
  6. Preparation and presentation of accurate and detailed total system Flightpath aircraft movement and noise impact modelling options at varying scenarios of air traffic volumes, operating modes and noise abatement procedures (these should all be unconstrained scenarios);
  7. Detailed review of aircraft operating caps and curfews as best practice noise abatement controls across the world and applicability to Brisbane Airport;
  8. Effectiveness of community engagement and need for an independent and funded community lead forum providing advocacy and resources for communities in fly over zones (ie; covering safety, health, lifestyle and financial impact outcomes);
  9. Accuracy of Community Engagement data as to traffic volumes and noise levels across Brisbane and in particular, areas sensitive areas with Tank Water supplies and those regions not identified as having any noise impacts including; Upper Brookfield, New Farm and Samford Valley. This also includes ceasing and rectification of the operations design for communities not consultation or where significant there is (or will be) significant change in noise EIS commitments.

Remember this isn’t yet the full review component – so while it’s important to include a bit about your story so the submission is personalised, you will be asked for more complete feedback later in their process.

Update #1: BFPCA’s stance on the PIR

A PIR is a structured Airservices-internal process to review performance of the new flight paths to date and suggestions for change. BFPCA welcomes any attempt to fix the mess that BAC and Airservices have inflicted on the community. And there is no doubt that all impacted community members need to strongly engage and make their feelings known.

BFPCA is concerned that this is the organisation that over the last 15 years has:

  • effectively worked as a partner with BAC in allowing a private organisation to secure maximum airspace capacity without any reasonable regard to the health, wellness or financial impact on the impacted host community;
  • allowed the unrealistic headline claims of ‘over the bay operations and minimal noise impact’ to be consistently sold to a trusting community;
  • supported grossly inaccurate flight path data, disaggregated aircraft movement numbers and inaccurate noise modelling;
  • and is also the organisation that for a decade had been widely criticised in internal, external, ANO and Senate reports and inquiries for its poor community engagement and response.

To now expect that an internal review by the same organisation that to date has failed to accept any issues with the Brisbane flight path design will now have the energy, leadership and courage to wipe the slate clean and deliver a real best practice outcome that correctly balances all stakeholder interests is hard to accept.

We saw last week the Airservices CEO attempt to answer a number of Brisbane flight path related senate estimate questions (initiated by BFPCA). Our observation was of a leader who either:

  • was not aware of any community issues with the Brisbane flight paths;
  • was not interested in being briefed on the Brisbane flight paths issues;
  • or thinks the Brisbane flight paths are a great success.

We, as severely impacted residents, must demand ‘real’ air space best practice starting with a new design from scratch not band aid solutions, tinkering at the edges or a timely bureaucratic distraction to quell recent media heat or hopefully circumvent a potentially damning Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) report.

BFPCA applauds any meaningful PIR review but we hope it’s not another ‘smoke and mirrors’ exercise that has worked so effectively for the new flight path proponents over many years. We trusted but Airservices failed us.

We still await on hearing of any interest from Airservices as to the sobering BFPCA Community Survey results that were issued last week.

Can we now expect leadership from within Airservices with an appropriate level of ‘People before Planes’ mindset to solve the problems? Time will tell. If it is to happen it must be led from the Chair and the Board. What has been dished up over the years by the Executive Management team across numerous states does not pass any test.

Any PIR process or outcomes should not pit communities in Brisbane against each other. Similarly, the PIR must not bamboozle communities with technical and jargonistic arguments about why the terrible status quo is the best option. Wholesale change is what’s needed – not bandaid solutions.

We plan to engage where possible in the PIR in a positive manner. However, Airservices has further damaged its standing in the community, and it is now reasonable for the community to be less trusting, the onus is on Airservices to demonstrate that they are a trustworthy organisation now. We won’t be fooled again.

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