Airspace and Flight Path Design for the new runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport
  • Wednesday 10 April 2019

Community consultation is continuing in relation to the proposed airspace and flight path design for the new runway currently under construction at the Sunshine Coast Airport.

Sunshine Coast Council would like to correct certain misinformation that is being circulated in the community in relation to the proposed airspace and flight path design for the operation of the new runway.

The proposed airspace and flight path design has been developed in accordance with the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which was subject to extensive community engagement during its development between 2012 and 2014 and through two community consultation/public exhibition periods in 2014 and 2015.

Sunshine Coast Council took every effort to inform residents about the project, resulting in the requisite project approvals being granted by State and Federal Governments.

An analysis of the flight paths and airspace design indicates there has been minimal change to the information originally provided in the EIS to the community in 2014 and 2015, including details of the flight path which crosses the coast between Marcus Beach and Castaways Beach.

Sunshine Coast Council has made overlay maps available to the public to demonstrate this is the case.

Sunshine Coast Council has been advised the proposed airspace changes will not impact on the collection of rainwater, and studies have demonstrated that emissions will be well below Environmental Protection (Air) Policy air quality objectives. Further information is available in the EIS documentation.

Sunshine Coast Council has analysed available information provided from Airservices Australia (March 2019) to provide the community with a range of expected noise impacts for areas within a 3km corridor directly under the arrival flight path for Runway 13.

Based on wind data it is expected that Runway 13 (ie. where aircraft land from the north-west and take off to the south-east) will be operational approximately 77% of the time.

For example, residents in Yandina Creek and Verrierdale between 1000 and 2000 ft on the approach flight path for Runway 13 could experience up to 75 decibels of noise when directly underneath the centre line of the flight path. This is similar to the noise level currently experienced under the current approach flight path near Cotton Tree.

Residents in Weyba Downs and Peregian West will see aircraft between 2000 and 3000ft and experience up to 67 decibels if directly under the centre line of the flight path. This would be similar to noise levels currently experienced at Yaroomba and less than the noise of average street traffic*.

Aircraft over Marcus Beach and Castaways Beach on the proposed path will be higher than 3000 ft and residents can expect to experience less than 63 decibels of noise if located directly under the centre line of the flight path.

These noise forecasts assume aircraft are arriving to land at the lowest design height. It is expected that most aircraft will actually be higher than this, which will further reduce the noise impact on the ground.

Sunshine Coast Airport currently caters for up to 17 jet passenger aircraft per day. Flight numbers are however, expected to grow over time, following the commissioning of the new runway and as the region continues to grow.

When the new runway opens, approximately 17 jet passenger flights are expected per day, either on approach or departure, depending on the wind direction.

Further away from the airport, aircraft traffic is dispersed over the different flight paths, depending on factors such as aircraft technology, operational requirements and where the aircraft is arriving from.

Sunshine Coast Council, Airservices Australia and Sunshine Coast Airport are committed to communicating and engaging with all stakeholders on the flight paths and airspace architecture for the new runway, which is based on the information that was made available and subject to extensive community engagement as part of the development of the EIS.

The current community engagement process is underway and is a genuine opportunity for residents to provide feedback on the proposed airspace and flight path design. All feedback will be compiled and considered by Airservices Australia in finalising the airspace and flight path design.

More information

Sunshine Coast Council has also developed a Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet