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Tuesday, 5 June 1984
Page: 2494

Senator GIETZELT —Yesterday in debate in Committee on Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 1983-84 Senator Boswell asked me a number of questions relating to flights over Brisbane. I undertook to get replies to these questions by Question Time today. As the Department has now supplied me with a response to Senator Boswell's questions, I seek leave of the Senate to have it incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-


1. Is 3000 feet still the minimum required height for commercial aircraft on arrival and departure patterns?

Answer-Commercial aircraft arriving and departing from Brisbane Airport normally descend or climb respectively to their cruising level without stopping at any one level. Aircraft are occasionally held at a level in order to separate them from other aircraft, however this level varies with circumstances. When aircraft are conducting instrument approaches they may hold at and start their approach from 3000 feet.

2. Do Departmental officers monitor these patterns?

Answer-The flight paths and the levels flown by aircraft are allocated to them by Departmental officers, who also monitor the aircraft on radar.

3. Can the Minister say what action, if any, has been taken by Departmental officers to see that approach and departure patterns are directed away from Brisbane bayside suburbs?

Answer-The Department has introduced noise abatement procedures at Brisbane in order to minimise annoyance to the residents around the airport including ensuring that aircraft take off towards, and land from, the direction of Moreton Bay as much as possible. This is done to avoid the more populated areas to the south-west of the airport. The flight paths of aircraft flying over the Moreton Bay area are continually monitored and changes are made when considered justified. Special attention is paid to night-time flights when more restrictive flight paths may be used.

4. What extra cost, if any, would be involved in having aircraft fly over a different flight path over the Bay.

Answer-There are two costs to be considered, firstly the economic cost of an aircraft having to fly an extra distance. Secondly there would be an additional traffic complexity involved. The exact costs cannot be known until exact details of suburbs to be avoided, or the flight paths, are known.