Call for airport curfew, more information and extended consultation period

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Noosa Council has called for an enforced night-time curfew for Sunshine Coast Airport and an extension to the consultation period to support residents’ concerns about Airservices Australia’s proposed changes to flight paths.

In addition, Noosa Council will call on airport owner Sunshine Coast Council to conduct an independent Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Lake Weyba, plus Noosa National Park and the coastal dunes within the Castaways and Marcus Beach areas.

“Noosa Council will also call on Federal Members Llew O’Brien and Ted O’Brien to support our position on this matter,” Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said.

“We will be requesting a detailed explanation from Airservices Australia as to why the intensity of flight numbers over the coastal flight path versus hinterland flight path has changed.”

Chief Executive Officer Brett de Chastel will lodge a submission on behalf of council, after Councillors endorsed the recommendation at the April Ordinary Meeting.

Cr Wilkie said that while Noosa Council had no regulatory authority over the project, Councillors had an advocacy role on behalf of residents who may be impacted.

“Four other Australian airports have a mandatory curfew on jet operations – Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne’s Essendon Airport and Adelaide.

“Limiting the hours of operation at night, similar to what happens on the Gold Coast, would minimise the noise impacts, better protect the amenity of residents and still allow the airport to operate efficiently.

“We appreciate that Sunshine Coast has a voluntary Fly Neighbourhood Policy involving minimal flights at night, but a curfew enforced by legislation would provide a stronger level of protection for residents.”

Given the strong community interest, Council also wants Airservices Australia to extend the consultation period by a month, to provide adequate time for feedback on the proposed flight path changes.

“In 2014 and 2015, there was considerable public consultation on the flight paths proposed during the original EIS process.

“Given the proposed changes in the coastal flight path intensity since then, Council is requesting another Environmental Impact Statement on residents’ behalf.”

Cr Wilkie said flight path location would not form part of the submission as there was currently a hinterland versus coastal divide as to where they should go.

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