The 2022 federal election is our best chance to fight excessive noise pollution from Brisbane Airport’s flight paths. BFPCA has asked the three main parties to confirm whether they are committed to the community’s key demands. And here are the results.
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Explanation of Key Community Demands
1. Independent Airspace Review
Continue the appointment of an independent airspace and air traffic management consultancy to periodically review and produce recommendations for flight path changes, runway operational changes, and international best practice noise abatements to be deployed at Brisbane Airport.
2. Ministerial Direction to Redesign
Issue an immediate Ministerial Direction to Airservices Australia as provided for under the Air Services Act 1995, Section 16(1), which requires Airservices to redesign the Brisbane airspace and flight paths that will (i) remedy the current concentration of noise pollution over Brisbane families and communities, and; (ii) achieve a significant and noticeable reduction overall in the noise pollution and health impacts experienced by Brisbane families and communities. This includes introducing international best practice noise abatement procedures such as prioritising SODPROPS at all times and meeting quarterly noise abatement performance targets.
3. Brisbane Airport Community Forum
Discontinue the Brisbane Airport Community Aviation Consultation Group (BACACG) chaired by Brisbane Airport, and instead establish a strong, independent, permanent, and fully funded Brisbane Airport Community Forum that will:
- Deal with aircraft noise abatement and related environmental issues and have access to all necessary data, performance targets and technical expertise;
- Have broad representation of all areas affected by airport operations;
- Be chaired independently with terms of reference designed to avoid any perception of or susceptibility to industry capture, including by regulators, aviation companies, or the airport operator;
- Receive secretariat support from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
4. Long-Term Operating Plan
Issue an immediate Ministerial Direction to Airservices Australia as provided for under the Air Services Act 1995, Section 16(1), which requires Airservices to engage in a major consultative process over 12 months to develop the Brisbane Airport Long-Term Operating Plan (LTOP) to better manage the aircraft noise associated with Brisbane Airport. The LTOP is to ensure that aircraft movements are maximised over water and non-residential land. Where overflight of residential areas cannot be avoided the LTOP aims to safely share the noise between communities. The Brisbane Airport Community Forum becomes the main body for consultation on the Brisbane LTOP.
Legislate a Brisbane Airport Curfew Act that introduces a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am.
6. Airport Capacity Declaration
Issue an Airport Capacity Declaration for Brisbane Airport of 45 flights an hour as provided for under the Airports Act 1996, Section 195, in order to provide Brisbane families and communities with certainty about the maximum number of flights to expect in a given day as well as into the future.
7. Collect Aircraft Noise Levies
Declare Brisbane Airport a leviable airport under the Aircraft Noise Levy Act 1995 to impose and collect aircraft noise levies. These levies are to be distributed as compensation to all Brisbane residents in the vicinity of any of Brisbane Airport’s flight paths and within the noise contours associated with compromised health and educational outcomes.
8. Amend the Air Services Act 1995
Amend the Air Services Act 1995 to free Airservices Australia from its regulatory capture by the aviation industry and ensure it protects the human and natural environment, community amenity and residential areas from the effects of the operation and use of aircraft. These regulatory changes will also include strengthening the independence and authorities of the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) and integrating the ANO with the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
Editorial Commentary by BFPCA
This score card is issued by BFPCA and is based on responses received as of 11/04/2022. BFPCA invited the three main parties on 04/03/2022 to provide their responses and commentary. Responses were received as follows: Hon Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Australian Labor Party – 29/03/2022; Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens – 07/04/2022; Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Liberal National Party – 08/04/2022.
Please note that some responses received to specific items contain disclaimers or qualifiers that indicate some but not a full commitment. Please make your own assessment using the full responses available below.
Full Response Statements
Australian Labor Party