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April 22, 2024

Hiding the facts behind airport’s landing system

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Following the approval of Gold Coast Airport’s (GCA) Instrument Landing System (ILS), which secures a development footprint on the NSW Crown Reserve for Public Recreation/Conservation and new 18km flight path over the Gold Coast urban area, we now have confirmation of what GCA is really up to.

The justification presented to the public for the ILS never did stack up in a business/economic sense.

Correspondence from the ‘Aircraft Noise Ombudsman Office’ this month advises GCA are planning to relocate the runway 32 landing threshold ‘about 300m’ to the south.

This is to increase the operational length of the runway to ‘enable larger long-haul aircraft to utilise the runway’.

Changing the operational capacity of the runway requires a Major Development Plan (MDP) which would include the requirement for runway operational areas on the Crown Reserve and clearing of vegetation.

Re the ILS components of the development footprint on the reserve it states, ‘A localiser antenna located 300m from runway 14 end’.

However, there is a greater distance from the runway 14 end in the ILS development footprint on the reserve not accounted for.

The airport document to the NSW government states in the short-term, ‘the implementation of the RESA on land to the south will improve that operational length’, so this would account for the greater distance than required for the ILS development on the Crown Reserve.

And so under the guise of the ILS and courtesy of ASA as the proponent and exemptions under the Airservices Act, a development footprint on the Crown Reserve with a new flight path to the north has been secured and has put the cart before the horse allowing clearing and earthworks for increased runway capacity and runway operational area on the reserve in the short-term.

A number of requests for information and FOI applications re the ILS project have been denied by the federal government in the interests of a private company and its shareholders rather than a transparent, properly considered and objective approach. Why all the secrecy, what are they hiding?

I have no doubt the community will be kept in the dark on the airport’s next Master Plan and MDP until after the local/federal elections.

Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads


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