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BNE curfew would impose enormous cost, says council

November 6, 2013 Airport, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A curfew at Brisbane Airport could cost the city up to AUD 1.3 billion by 2029, according to a submission by Brisbane City Council to a committee from the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

The committee is deciding whether to recommend a night-time curfew at the airport. Submissions closed last Thursday.

Brisbane City Council opposes any move for a curfew, citing major adverse economic fallout.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says Brisbane’s status as the only major airport on the Australian eastern seaboard without a curfew gives it a distinct advantage.EGT_Artical Banner A 250x250

“The airport and its new parallel runway will be a key driver in the long-term growth of Brisbane’s economy and I do not support a night-time curfew that would jeopardise that growth,” the Brisbane Times quoted him as saying.

Brisbane Airport Corporation announced in October the construction of a second runway, forecast to increase aircraft movement from 40 to 100 an hour.

The inquiry into the airport’s 24-hour operation was mounted after more than 5000 aircraft noise complaint were received in a single year – but during the inquiry it was disclosed that most of the those complaints came from just three people.

Brisbane Airport is a round-the-clock operation, whereas airports in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Adelaide have curfews from 11pm to 6am.

While there have been complaints about aircraft noise, Brisbane Airport’s operators point out that over 60% of the 5024 aircraft noise complaints received in the 12 months to June 2013 were made by three people.

Industry lobby group Tourism and Transport Forum pointed out in a draft submissioin that a curfew could cost Brisbane Airport its role as a diversion destination for flights that cannot make it to Sydney, Newcastle or the Gold Coast, because of curfews or poor weather at those airports.

“A curfew would prevent Brisbane Airport from accommodating diverted flights overnight,” the group said.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) made a detailed a submission in response to the Discussion Paper, called “Future Brisbane Airport Operations: A Review of the Need for a Curfew at Brisbane Airport”.

A curfew imposed at Brisbane Airport would impact international and domestic flights, tourism, the economy, jobs, businesses, air freight and even the community, BAC says.

“Estimates suggest that 216,000 international passenger movements would be lost each year if a curfew were imposed on Brisbane Airport. Of these, 111,000 would be international visitors to Australia. Additionally, 112,000 domestic passengers would be lost each year if a curfew was imposed on Brisbane Airport.

“Brisbane Airport’s 24-hour operations are vital to the growth of Brisbane and Queensland. A curfew-free capital city airport is a powerful attraction for many businesses looking to invest in Queensland. In addition, 24/7 operations give the airport the flexibility to maintain services and attract additional flights, services and investment.”

According to BAC, recent public opinion research showed that most local and regional respondents agreed that a curfew would have a negative impact on the Queensland economy.

“As a result, a substantial majority of respondents do not support a curfew on Brisbane Airport. In addition, aircraft noise complaints decreased during the 2013 financial year, with Airservices Australia recording 5024 aircraft noise complaints from 469 people in the 12 months to June 2013. Of this total, 3090 complaints were made by just three people.

“During the same period, Brisbane Airport recorded more than 220,000 aircraft movements, carrying 21.6 million passengers. Most noise complaints tend to be received between 6pm and 9pm, and between 6am and 8am. Imposing a curfew at Brisbane Airport could compress early morning and late evening flights into these most noise sensitive hours, exacerbating noise impacts and increasing complaints.”

“Brisbane’s New Parallel Runway is expected to be in operation in 2020 and will significantly reduce the number of aircraft flying over residential areas in noise sensitive periods, while boosting capacity for Queensland.”

Written by : Peter Needham

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