No noise benefit in Gold Coast departure trial

A 12-month trial of a flight path for Gold Coast Airport southern departures has demonstrated that the change did not deliver the intended noise improvement for residents.

Airservices Australia will now begin work to reinstate the former flight path, which is expected to be in place by June 2016, following regulatory approvals, procedure design work and notifications to airlines.

The flight path change for southern departures (for jet aircraft travelling to southern ports) on Runway 14 was instigated at the request of the community and directed jets further to the south-west, maximising flights above the golf course rather than surrounding residential areas.

A review of community feedback and noise data collected during the trial was undertaken and found that the changed flight path did not deliver an improved outcome for residents.

The noise monitoring data demonstrated that the actual noise improvement of 1-1.8 decibels delivered by the changed flight path was not a noticeable level for the human ear.

Airservices executive general manager, safety, environment and assurance, Dr Rob Weaver, thanked the community for their continued understanding and feedback as noise improvements were considered and reviewed.

“We understand that there were differing views on the merits of this trial and appreciate the feedback we have had from the community,” Dr Weaver said.

“We also acknowledge that some people will be disappointed by this outcome, particularly those who provided positive feedback on the trial.”

Noise modelling carried out before the trial began anticipated a fall of up to five decibels in aircraft noise levels for residents in Chinderah. The trial also resulted in an unintentional noise impact for residents of Farrants Hill, with the changed flight path concentrating flights over this area.

A Post Implementation Review has been published on Airservices website.

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