Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
08/02/2016
Estimates
INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO
Airservices Australia

Airservices Australia

[20:52]

CHAIR: Away we go. Who's leading?

Senator CAMERON: I just want to come to the issue of the Badgerys Creek EIS. You have had an engagement and involvement with that?

Mr Harfield : Yes.

Senator CAMERON: Australia has certain obligations under the ICAO resolutions—is that correct?

Mr Harfield : Sorry, I am just not sure what the—

Senator CAMERON: The International Civil Aviation Organization have resolutions that we follow, don't they?

Mr Harfield : ICAO do have standards of recommended practices that Australia can follow.

Senator CAMERON: 'Can' follow?

Mr Harfield : Can follow. We can file an exception, depending on the regulatory regime within the country.

Senator CAMERON: And Airservices Australia have determined that you will follow the ICAO balanced approach, haven't you?

Mr Harfield : We have to be consistent with ICAO. Part of our operations, such as our air traffic control and our aviation rescue and firefighting, come under the CASA regulations, which are also consistent with the ICAO guidance.

Senator CAMERON: You have outlined some principles in your aircraft noise management document—some ICAO principles. I think you have also outlined them in other documentation. With the ICAO principles—the assembly resolutions that are in force until 2007—is that what you are still following?

Mr Harfield : I am not sure exactly what you are getting at. It depends which ICAO resolutions you are referring to—whether they are part of the Air Navigation Commission, whether they are adopted as standards or recommended practices—so I am not sure what their requirements would be versus the regulations.

Senator CAMERON: The 2007 ICAO document says:

Whereas the balanced approach to noise management developed by ICAO consists of identifying the noise problem at an airport and then analysing the various measures available to reduce noise through the exploration of four principal elements, namely reduction at source, land-use planning and management, noise abatement operational procedures and operating restrictions, with the goal of addressing the noise problem in the most cost-effective manner.

Do you follow that?

Mr Harfield : We will comply with that as consistently as we can.

Senator CAMERON: As consistently as you can?

Mr Harfield : There are other factors that need to be taken into account, because they are principles. For example, when doing flight paths, the safety of air navigation is the most important consideration to be taken into account if those principles cannot be complied with.

Senator CAMERON: You say you have to get a balance between the noise impact on communities and safe flying?

Mr Harfield : Absolutely.

Senator CAMERON: In relation to the Badgerys Creek EIS, you could not apply the ICAO principles in that, could you?

Mr Harfield : That is not the stage we are currently at. In regard to input to the EIS, we were commissioned to provide indicative flight paths, taking into account a number of constraints. Those constraints were that it was runway 05/23 configuration at the airport. We were not to touch or change the flight paths associated with Kingsford Smith airport. We had to take into account the current airspace constraints, such as the Richmond military control zone, as well as the operations out of Bankstown and other airspace constraints. These are indicative flight paths with those constraints. As a result of the EIS, we will, as was mentioned this morning, work through doing the detailed design of those flight paths, taking into account those principles you just outlined.

Senator CAMERON: Was there another element as well? Orchard Hills?

Mr Harfield : Yes, there would have been a number of airspace constraints that exist today that would have had to be taken into account with the design of the flight paths.

Senator CAMERON: You could not really design flight paths that minimised the impact on the community because you have these constraints. Is that what you are saying?

Mr Harfield : Within those constraints, we would design flight paths that were indicative so that they could be used as input into an environmental impact statement. Once that process has been undertaken, we would continue doing the work, as we would normally do with other flight paths, to minimise the effect on the community while maintaining the safety and efficiency of air traffic.

Senator CAMERON: With your alignment, then, with the balanced noise management approach, the ICAO principles you say you comply with, you were constrained by the instructions you received—were they from the minister or the department?

Mr Harfield : I call them the design constraints and they came from, based on my understanding, the Western Sydney unit. We were to try to do indicative flight paths based on not touching Kingsford Smith—and the 05/23 runway configuration was already in place.

Senator CAMERON: So those indicative flight paths—what possessed Airservices Australia to have a merge point above the most densely populated part of the lower Blue Mountains?

Mr Harfield : As I said, the design constraints that we had. These were indicative flight paths to put out for consultation, and then, as a result of that consultation with the environmental impact statement, what we would do is sit down with the process of designing the actual flight paths with consultation with the community to ensure that the operations of the airport would be taken into account as well as community considerations, and then taking into account those principles that you have outlined from ICAO.

Senator CAMERON: Well, you are not achieving that. Your document Airservices commitment to aircraft noise management says on page 7 that noise should be concentrated as much as possible over non-noise sensitive areas and establishments. You have not done that in these indicative flight paths, have you?

Mr Harfield : We have attempted to do it as much as possible, because, if you understand the configuration of the runways—the south-west/north-east type configuration—as a result of arriving traffic or departing traffic in that configuration, as it resulted in an impact to the Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport flight paths, that is the way that it had to be designed.

Senator CAMERON: So the protections were kept in place for the eastern suburbs in Sydney and the inner western suburbs in Sydney at the expense of the western suburbs population—St Marys, Erskine Park and the Blue Mountains. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield : That is not correct. As I said, the design constraint was not to touch the current flight paths of Kingsford Smith airport and, as a result of that, we had to design flight paths that met those constraints.

Senator CAMERON: So you really could not meet the ICAO standards that you have outlined here. Let me take you through them one by one.

Mr Harfield : Can I correct you: they are not standards. They are guidelines and practices that we will apply when we do the detailed design of the flight paths. These are just indicative flight paths constrained for input to an environmental impact statement.

Senator CAMERON: Why would you put out indicative flight paths that merge all incoming flights over the Blue Mountains?

Mr Harfield : We need to merge all those flight paths together to sequence the aircraft into the airport so that they are on a stabilised approach, arriving for the safety of the operations at that particular airport.

Senator CAMERON: Who made the decision that it would be over the town of Blaxland?

Mr Harfield : No-one made the decision. The flight paths were based on the safe and efficient flow of air traffic into Western Sydney airport based on the design constraints. As a result that point merge, as was detailed this morning, has room to move by about five kilometres at this stage. However, once we get into the detailed design, that may change as a result of other technologies such as required navigation performance—

Senator CAMERON: These are not design constraints in the true term of design constraints. These are political constraints, aren't they?

Mr Harfield : No, they are not. These are design constraints in fitting in flight paths into the new Western Sydney airport with the current runway configuration, as well as making sure that we do not touch the current flight paths with Kingsford Smith airport.

Senator CAMERON: You have said that. So the configuration was 05/23, I think.

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator CAMERON: So that 05/23 was a political decision. Did you make the decision about 05/23?

Mr Harfield : No, that is a design parameter of the airport.

Senator Colbeck: Senator, I think we heard evidence this morning that 05/23 was a decision based on the geography of the airport, not a political decision. That was based on the purchase of the land back in—what?—1980.

Mr Mrdak : The 1980s. The runway configuration was set in 1985 by the then processes.

CHAIR: Was that Mr Bob Hawke?

Mr Mrdak : Yes. It was set based on land acquisition and an optimum layout available in that site.

Senator CAMERON: On that 05/23 configuration back in the eighties, was the design to bring all the flights over Blaxland in the previous—you must have gone back and had a look at it, surely.

Mr Harfield : No.

Senator CAMERON: You didn't?

Mr Harfield : No.

Mr Mrdak : The sophistication available—

Senator CAMERON: Why are you staring at me, Mr Harfield?

Mr Harfield : I am waiting for your next question.

Senator CAMERON: So you have to stare, do you?

Mr Harfield : No, I am not staring. I am blinking.

Senator CAMERON: Okay. Let's just go through this then.

Mr Mrdak : I was just going to explain that in the 1980s and 1990s the level of sophistication of the technology that was available—there were no indicative flight paths at that stage, in the 1985 EIS—did not allow the type of modelling that can now be done.

Senator CAMERON: Okay. So, Airservices Australia have this all to themselves. They are the ones that came up with it based on these restrictions that they have had to work with.

Mr Mrdak : I think, as we have discussed today, including restricted airspace to the north and various other restrictions in the Sydney basin through traffic flow, there are a number of limitations, and Airservices Australia has sought to work with those in determining what is an optimal approach. Now, as we discussed this morning, on receipt of feedback from the community, like yours, we are now doing further work to see whether we can get a more optimal, less intrusive approach.

Senator CAMERON: Mr Harfield, your decision was not made on the first point in your document, and that is that noise should be concentrated as much as possible over non-noise-sensitive areas, in the draft EIS flight paths. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield : As I said before, and a number of times, those ICAO principles would not be applied until we are doing the detailed design work. Under the Air Services Act it is very clear that in performing our function the most important requirement is the safety of air navigation, and then after that, as far as practicable, the effects of the environment on the ground aspects. In other words, we have to take safety of air navigation as the most important consideration and then consider the environment.

Senator CAMERON: It also said that during the assessment of noise management proposals consideration shall be given to whether concentration or noise sharing is more appropriate at the location. In your indicative flight paths, why didn't you look at noise sharing—or did you?

Mr Harfield : The reason for the point merge is to have a number of flight paths that arrive at that point, which would then distribute the flights across those paths. But we have to bring them in to a certain point to line them up for a single-runway operation. That is what has occurred with the point merge.

Senator CAMERON: You understand both the topography and where people live in the Blue Mountains. You must have looked at it.

Mr Harfield : In developing these particular flight paths with the limitations or constraints that were applied, it was not a major consideration. It was really about fitting in the aircraft or the flight paths in an indicative sense for consultation purposes, making sure that we did not affect the Sydney Kingsford Smith flight paths and the current airspace constraints, such as the Richmond military zone, which is up to the north.

Senator CAMERON: Who determined that you should not touch any of the flight paths at Kingsford Smith?

Mr Harfield : That was one of the design constraints that was provided to us.

Senator CAMERON: But that is not a design constraint on 05/23, is it?

Mr Harfield : No, but it is for the aircraft departing and arriving in that runway configuration. What you have to understand is that aircraft departing Sydney Kingsford Smith at the moment that goes over Richmond and that particular area, on climb out to go up to South-East Asia and to northern ports and down to the south—we have the flights that come in from Perth and from Asia and from Adelaide—will all come up through the southern point. In other words, the flight paths are not just around Sydney; it is how those aircraft depart Sydney and arrive into Sydney and how they cross that particular area, and then having the indicative flight paths for Western Sydney in that runway configuration and how they interact.

Senator CAMERON: I do not suppose you can give me the answer to this, because—

CHAIR: Just pausing there: I just want to let it be known, Mr Secretary, that you can let Local Government and Territories go home, and ARTC can go home. I apologise for keeping them so late, but we are trying to manage things. I don't mind if I get a rude note from them, by the way! I will let them go home now, while the going is good. We obviously have a bit less to do, and we want to get done tonight. Back to you, Senator.

Senator CAMERON: So, Mr Harfield, in relation to saying that nothing should change at Kingsford Smith, you then did not have an opportunity to look at maximising the combined Western Sydney airport and Kingsford Smith flight plans to mitigate some of the noise across the lower Blue Mountains, did you?

Mr Harfield : Part of our brief was not to actually change the flight paths of Kingsford Smith and combine them with the Western Sydney flight paths.

Senator CAMERON: Would it be possible to have a look at the whole of Kingsford Smith and Western Sydney as one unit? Isn't that part of the normal process, that you look at these two close airports and try to deal with them as one airport?

Mr Harfield : As we go through the consultation and get into the detailed design, that may be a consideration as we work forward.

Senator CAMERON: I think I read somewhere that that is the preferred way to deal with airports that are in close proximity. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield : Naturally, to get airports in close proximity you would want to make sure that you had a complementary air route design that would meet all the various design parameters.

Senator CAMERON: So this was a direction you received from the department?

Mr Harfield : That was part of the brief for our input into the EIS.

Senator CAMERON: From the department?

Mr Harfield : I am saying yes, I assume so. I did not see the actual request, but that was one of our design constraints.

Mr Mrdak : Senator, yes.

Senator CAMERON: And was that constraint advised to the department by the minister?

Mr Mrdak : It was one we discussed and briefed the minister on, but it is starting with the presumption of trying to minimise impacts on other flight paths throughout the region, as Mr Harfield has indicated. As we do more work on the flight paths then we may come back and look at the whole Sydney basin more thoroughly. That is work we will have to do.

Senator CAMERON: So, the minister signed off on treating Kingsford Smith separately?

Mr Mrdak : The minister was briefed by the department on that, yes.

Mr McRandle : Just to be clear, Senator, the minister was briefed, but the judgement was the department's about the way that Airservices would be tasked to do this work. So, there was no specific decision or permission sought from the minister on that question.

Senator CAMERON: But the minister could have advised you differently, couldn't he?

Mr McRandle : Well, it is possible, but I think—

Senator CAMERON: It is not just possible; the minister could have advised the department that you treat both airports as one and you mitigate the noise across the whole Sydney basin, couldn't he?

Mr McRandle : Yes, he could have done, but there is also the question—

Senator CAMERON: But he did not. That is the point.

Senator Colbeck: But that is assuming that he knew that there was going to be a particular outcome from it, which I suspect he would not have known. He was taking advice from the department on how to set up the process. What you are talking about now in the context of flight paths and merge points is as a result of the process; it is not something that could have been predetermined beforehand.

Senator CAMERON: Absolute rubbish, Minister; absolute rubbish.

Senator Colbeck: Well, how do you come to that particular point?

Senator CAMERON: All you would have had to do was talk to Airservices Australia before doing this shonky EIS, that's what.

Senator Colbeck: The whole conversation we are having is a consequence of the process of the EIS. It is not an input to the EIS; it is as a consequence of the output. You tried to demean it—to your eternal discredit, Senator.

CHAIR: Order! Thank you, Minister. I am going to impose some discipline.

Senator Colbeck: I understand that you do not like the outcome, Senator Cameron. But it is not an input to the process; it is an output of the process.

Senator CAMERON: Chair, could I just finish on this whole line of questioning here?

CHAIR: Well, I have to say, these people all have questions on this same issue—

Senator CAMERON: I just want to finish this part—

CHAIR: Well, we are doing circles; you are going back to straight drive.

Senator CAMERON: Mr Harfield, one of the other principles that are applied by ICAO is that when you compare options and operations are conducted at night or on weekends they shall be treated as being more sensitive than those that occur during the daytime or on weekends. We just had CASA here. They have indicated that they believe that if a commercial operator determines to have more flights at night and less during the day then the ratio of flights between day and night is up to them. Is that your understanding as well?

Mr Harfield : The operation of the airport will be an agreement between the airlines flying in and the airport operator to suit their requirements.

Senator CAMERON: The EIS has indicated that there will be so many flights during the day and so many flights at night. The EIS cannot determine that, because that is a commercial decision for the operators of the airport. Isn't that correct?

Mr Harfield : Assumptions can be made, and those assumptions can be based on current practice. You would be well aware that with timings of flights, and where they have to actually end up at a destination or they come from a particular point, depending on how they connect and keep operating, you usually find that during the day is when you get your maximum movements compared with what you would at night. So, it is a reasonable assumption to say that you have more movements during the day than you will at night.

Senator CAMERON: Absolutely, more movements, but there is nothing to stop the commercial decisions being made to bring more flights in at night, is there?

Mr Harfield : No, there is not, but this is an airport that will come into operation in 2025.

CHAIR: Thank you very much. We will have a break. Senator Cameron, you have had a pretty fair run.

Proceedings suspended from 21 : 16 to 21 : 29

CHAIR: Senator Rice, you have the call.

Senator RICE: I wanted to ask about the Melbourne Airport third-runway proposal and how that is rolling out. I understand that the airport's 2013 master plan lays out the third-runway proposition, amongst many other plans for the airport. Specifically, is there going to be a new environmental impact statement carried out for that aspect of the airport?

Mr Wilson : I will start and then Ms Horrocks might add some more detail. In regards to the additional runway, you are correct; it is in the approved master plan. It has been in the airport's master planning documents for some considerable time. They have now selected the orientation of the runway. They are currently in the process of developing their major development plan—the documents associated with the actual construction of the runway, for the minister's consideration. As part of that process, that document will incorporate the environmental impacts of the construction of the runway and will go out for consultation. I am advised that that document, including a full, detailed environmental assessment, will go out sometime later this year, with the expectation of a document to be considered by the minister for his approval in, I think, the second quarter of 2017.

Senator RICE: Will the environmental assessment included in that major development plan be as detailed as a full environmental impact statement—

Mr Wilson : Yes.

Senator RICE: and have the same criteria and the same processes being assessed?

Mr Mrdak : It is done under the EPBC processes.

Senator RICE: All right. So essentially you are saying there will be a new environmental impact statement included as part of that major development plan?

Mr Mrdak : That is right.

Senator RICE: Good. Some of the residents will be happy to know that.

Last estimates, we discussed the interplay between Avalon and Melbourne airports, and your advice was that Avalon and Melbourne were operating in different markets and you referred to the Melbourne Airport master plan as the guide to that. But I am wondering about the way that the aviation white paper of 2009 lays it out; is that relevant?

Mr Wilson : With all due respect, Senator, I actually do not recall what the words in the aviation white paper of 2009 referenced between the two airports, so I cannot honestly answer the question.

Senator RICE: I will help you out. The 2009 aviation white paper said:

… Avalon Airport largely serves the same market as Melbourne Airport and will be treated as part of the greater Melbourne market.

Mr Wilson : That is correct.

Senator RICE: So you still concur with that statement?

Mr Wilson : As it is written, yes, Senator.

Senator RICE: I am interested, then, in how the infrastructure at Avalon will be taken into account as part of that assessment of the additional runway at Melbourne Airport—given that they are largely serving the same market—in terms of the need for that third runway.

Mr Wilson : Whilst they serve the same market, they are competing airports. In terms of Melbourne Airport's operating capacity, it is getting to the point where it believes it needs, and it warrants, additional capacity. So, in that sense, the capacity that is available at Avalon will not, I do not believe—without having seen the document—be referenced in the Melbourne Airport third-runway major development plan.

Senator RICE: Even though they are serving the same market? That does not seem right. If you have these two airports serving the same market, for meeting capacity it seems very relevant to me.

Mr Wilson : But they are competing entities. They compete within the same marketplace.

Senator RICE: They may compete but, in terms of the need for a third runway, they are both providing capacity.

Senator Colbeck: Coles and Woolworths serve the same market but then they compete in the market. It is a decision for them as to whether—

Senator RICE: They are not major city-shaping infrastructure.

Senator Colbeck: Actually, I do not see how they are not. They are both commercial operations and they will make decisions as to whether they need additional infrastructure.

Senator RICE: But it is up to the government—

Senator Colbeck: Melbourne Airport has quite clearly made a decision that it wants additional infrastructure, so it is proceeding down that track.

Senator RICE: With respect, the government clearly has a role in regulation of whether we need to have major airport expansion, whether you have competing airports or not. So I cannot see why extra capacity at Avalon is not being taken into account when considering the need for extra capacity at Melbourne Airport.

Mr Mrdak : While Avalon Airport serves the broader Geelong market and part of the Melbourne market, Avalon itself is a limited facility—a single runway, very limited terminal and unimproved facilities.

Senator Colbeck: And there is clearly demand for access to Melbourne Airport. That is a—

Senator RICE: That may be the case. It may be that when you look at this capacity you say there is clearly the need for it, but what I am questioning is whether that capacity at Avalon will be taken into account in terms of the assessment at Melbourne.

Mr Mrdak : Certainly when you look at the growth of Melbourne and at the projections for the growth of Melbourne, you can see that Melbourne will need additional runways at Tullamarine as well as Avalon. If you look at, say, the greater Brisbane area you will see that Brisbane is now completing its parallel runway. At the same time you have had expansions of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. That simply reflects the growth of operations in that—

Senator RICE: Mr Mrdak, you are making an assessment to say that, yes, there is the need for this extra capacity. My question is whether that assessment of the broader capacity of both airports, including Avalon, will be considered as part of the assessment in terms of the need for a third runway.

Mr Wilson : I would have to check in terms of the regulations and the requirements that are in place. As I said, I will take it on notice. But I do not believe that there is a regulatory requirement for Melbourne airport, in the development of its major development plan, to take into account capacity offered by another airport.

Senator RICE: Even in the same market?

Mr Wilson : Even in the same market. As I said, I will check, but I do not believe—

Mr Mrdak : Having said that, as you are aware, in any environmental impact statement we do look at options and alternatives. Melbourne airport will have to look at how it sits vis-a-vis the total market as part of any options assessment as part of an EIS.

Senator RICE: Can we have a commitment for that to occur, on behalf of the residents who are represented here tonight?

Mr Mrdak : That will depend on the guidelines that are in place at the time. Normally you do look at options assessments as part of the environmental impact statement.

CHAIR: It is probably that real estate is worth more than landing aircraft.

Senator RHIANNON: Going back to Badgerys Creek airport, the Western Sydney airport: the EIS did not count scope 3 emissions—the take-off jet exhausts—in its calculations of total emissions. Why weren't they included?

Mr McRandle : Sorry, I missed the first part of your question.

Senator RHIANNON: It is about the scope 3 emissions—that the airport EIS did not count scope 3 emissions in its calculations of total emissions. I wondered why they were not included.

Mr McRandle : I am not familiar with the term 'scope 3 emissions', or the detail of that. There was an assessment of emissions required by the EPBC Act in the assessment.

Senator RHIANNON: Yes, but not of the take-off jet exhausts, I understand. That is what we are talking about here. This comes from the EIS itself, on page 101:

The Scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions estimated for the proposed stage 1 development would represent approximately 0.1 per cent of Australia’s projected 2030 transport-related greenhouse gas emission inventory.

What I am trying to work out here is why scope 3 was not included in the calculations. You have said that it was. I thought that somebody would know about this, because it has been written about and reported on.

Mr McRandle : No. Sorry, I understand now the issue you are getting to. There was a typographical error in, I think, the online publication versus the printed one—

Senator RHIANNON: And the hard copy.

Mr McRandle : and that was corrected. I can go to my notes to find—

Senator RHIANNON: The last time I looked at it, and I must admit it was not this week, it had not been corrected online. I can understand that you cannot correct hard copy, but have you corrected the online version and, if so, where?

Mr McRandle : I need to take on notice the details of the correction, but I can inform you that we were alerted to a typographical error in one of the publications which did not invalidate the public consultation process, or that part of it. I would need to get back to you on the detail about how that was detected and how that was—

Senator RHIANNON: The figure of 0.1 per cent really comes across as greenhouse gas emissions are really not significant in terms of this airport. You can understand why it would be interpreted that way, and it has been used extensively throughout the draft EIS and certainly in many discussions about it. Is there nobody here who can give us any dates on when this was corrected?

Mr McRandle : I would need to take that on notice unless I can find that particular reference in my notes. I think that, in the context of greenhouse emissions in this airport, aviation itself is only a small proportion of the greenhouse emitters in the transport sector. This airport is not going to be the busiest airport in Australia and, therefore, I think you would expect to have a very small number.

Senator RHIANNON: When you made the correction, you included scope 3 with scope 1 and scope 2. What do you now say the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions is?

Mr McRandle : I would need to go and check the details of exactly what the error was and just remind myself of how that was corrected.

Senator RHIANNON: It is certainly disappointing that this information is not here. When you take that on notice and you provide that information, can you say when the correction was made and what the new figure is in terms of the total percentage of greenhouse gas emissions for scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 and for scope 3 separately.

Mr McRandle : Yes, we will do that.

Senator RHIANNON: With regard to greenhouse gas emissions and decisions around transport in Western Sydney and beyond: has the department been asked to model the relative benefits of other modes of transport like high-speed rail compared to a second airport in terms of greenhouse gas emissions?

Mr Mrdak : We have done no recent work. The most comparative work would have been the high-speed rail study of 2012, which had projections of impacts, particularly of an intercapital high-speed rail network. We are currently doing work with the New South Wales government in relation to future alignment of rail for Western Sydney, but that is looking more at future corridors and timing of construction of rail. Again, we will check the EIS process. I am not familiar with any direct comparator between the Western Sydney airport development and an intercapital high-speed rail, but there is a lot of information on high-speed rail emissions available in that 2012 work.

Mr McRandle : There was no reference to high-speed rail in the EIS, but high-speed rail is not a perfect substitute for aviation services—things like international, where the growth is quite strong. There has not been a specific comparison of greenhouse gas emissions between the two modes.

Senator RHIANNON: Has the government contributed any resources or given any consideration to developing increased capacity at Newcastle airport?

Mr Mrdak : Yes. The joint study, which was undertaken between 2010 and 2012, essentially looked at all of the aviation infrastructure and future demand in an area from Newcastle all the way down to Nowra. The future capacity of RAAF Williamtown was included in all of those studies, so there is quite extensive work. If you go to the joint study report, which is on our website, that provides quite a detailed assessment of RAAF Williamtown and its capacity for civil operations.

Senator RHIANNON: So consideration was given. Have any resources been put into Newcastle airport?

Mr Mrdak : Extensive resources were at that time for that joint study, which looked at all aspects of RAAF and civil operations. Essentially RAAF Williamtown has significant limitations for future civil operations.

Senator RHIANNON: It has limitations?

Mr Mrdak : Yes, it does.

Senator RHIANNON: What are they?

Mr Mrdak : Primarily, it will remain Australia's primary RAAF fighter base—

Senator RHIANNON: So it is because of the RAAF operations?

Mr Mrdak : RAAF operations and military airspace. RAAF Williamtown is part of RAAF's long-term plans. Additionally, the infrastructure in the area and the proximity of the local communities mean that it is very difficult to expand the base. It is a very small site, which means that it does not cater for long-term demand.

Senator RHIANNON: What about Canberra airport? What resources have you put into Canberra airport?

Mr Mrdak : Similarly, it was considered as part of the joint study in 2010 to 2012. Again, it looked at future capacity. Canberra is certainly part of the region. It services the south-eastern region of New South Wales. It is quite an important airport for this region and southern New South Wales. But it does not serve the major needs of Sydney, particularly Western Sydney, in the same way that the Western Sydney airport will.

Senator RHIANNON: To finish up with the Gold Coast airport: I understand there is a minister's approval document for Gold Coast airport's ILS draft master development plan. Can you take this on notice and release this document to the committee.

Mr Mrdak : Yes, certainly. It will be published shortly. As one of the conditions of any major development plan approval, the airport publishes the major development plan and the final approval.

Senator RHIANNON: When you say shortly, what is 'shortly'?

Mr Wilson : It will be published within 50 business days of the approval. I believe the approval was last week—so, early April.

Senator RHIANNON: We are expecting it in early April.

Mr Mrdak : At the latest.

Senator RHIANNON: So about six weeks away?

Mr Mrdak : At the latest.

Senator RHIANNON: So, in that six weeks work can commence on the changes around the airport? I understand that is possible. Is it?

Mr Mrdak : The major development plan has been approved, yes.

Senator RHIANNON: Can you take it on notice and release this immediately—as I think you are aware, there are local disputes about this—so that the public at least have some knowledge about what they are confronting.

Mr Mrdak : The public was extensively consulted on the draft major development plan, which was then provided to government and which included a response to the public consultation. But I will take on notice the availability of the final MDP earlier.

Senator RHIANNON: So you will give consideration to releasing it—not using the process to expand the time, but to look at releasing it immediately?

Mr Mrdak : That will be a matter for the airport, but we will see what can be done.

Senator STERLE: What recent involvement has the department had in International Civil Aviation Organization discussions around a scheme to reduce emissions from the aviation sector? If you have answered it, just say, 'I have answered it', because I just switched off in the last hour.

Mr Mrdak : I believe an officer is currently in Montreal, as we speak, in discussions around the issue.

Senator STERLE: Very good. Can the department list the meetings that have occurred on this issue since September 2013.

Mr Mrdak : Yes, we will provide that.

Senator STERLE: What department officials have been attending such meetings since September 2013?

Mr Mrdak : We will provide that.

Senator STERLE: Which meetings and what were the topics?

Mr Mrdak : There is a committee called the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection of the ICAO. That is their primary policy development body, and it feeds into the general assembly of ICAO, which will be held later this year. We will get you the details of that.

Senator STERLE: What was the last such meeting attended by a department official?

Mr Mrdak : It is this week.

Senator STERLE: Are there any future meetings scheduled for attendance by a departmental official?

Mr Mrdak : We will check. I think that the next time ICAO will look at these issues will be the general assembly in late September.

Mr Wilson : We will check.

Senator STERLE: Since 2013 how many briefing notes have been provided to the minister specifically on emissions in the aviation sector?

Mr Mrdak : I had better take that on notice.

Senator STERLE: No worries. Has the minister been to an ICAO meeting since September 2013?

Mr Mrdak : No.

Senator STERLE: Has the department provided any advice to the minister on options for regulating aviation emissions as part of achieving the government's 26 to 28 per cent carbon reduction target?

Mr Wilson : I believe we have, but I would have to check.

Senator STERLE: If you could. Are you able to share that with the committee?

Mr Wilson : Again, I will take that on notice.

Senator STERLE: I quickly want to ask about rates. Can you tell me what progress has been made with respect to the local government rates issues involving the federally leased airports subject to rates disputes.

Mr Wilson : Since the last meeting of the committee I have had a number of conversations with both the Australian Local Government Association and, at least on one occasion, with both Northern Midlands and Clarence councils. I have also had conversations with both of the airports involved in the disputes in Tasmania.

Senator STERLE: Where is Clarence?

Senator Colbeck: Hobart.

Mr Wilson : Those conversations have not led to any resolution of the issue. The department has employed a valuer to assist us in providing a more definitive answer with regard to what the Commonwealth believes is owed by the two airports to the two councils in accordance with our lease. We have had conversations with both councils and the airports associated with that process. The airports have agreed to be bound by the outcomes of that valuation. The councils have reserved their judgement with regard to that. I would hope that the valuation will be completed by the end of February for Launceston, and in March for Hobart, I believe. Post that I will provide advice to all of the parties involved and we will take the next steps with regard to resolving the issue.

Senator STERLE: Good luck!

Senator Colbeck: It would be very handy if the two parties would actually talk to one another.

Senator STERLE: As I said, good luck. Now I want to go to Airservices Australia, if I can, and I want to talk about WebTrak. Can you tell us, Mr Harfield, why WebTrak was introduced.

Mr Harfield : WebTrak was introduced as a way of allowing the community to monitor air traffic to see where there were potential noise from flight paths impacts around the community and at various airports.

Senator STERLE: When was that?

Mr Harfield : Off the top of my head, I think it was around the 2011 mark. We can confirm the exact date.

Senator STERLE: I remember doing an inquiry and it was way before 2011.

Mr Harfield : There was the noise inquiry. It was around that time, whenever that was. I am just trying to remember.

Senator STERLE: Sure. Take it on notice. I think you will probably find that it was earlier. Anyway, you can tell us.

Mr Harfield : It might have been 2010, but we will get the exact date.

Senator STERLE: Is WebTrak still comprehensively displaying aircraft movements around major airports?

Mr Harfield : Yes it is, Senator.

Senator STERLE: Are aircraft turning their ID off—or have they done—such that they are not able to be identified by WebTrak?

Mr Harfield : I will have to take that on notice. Not to my knowledge.

Senator STERLE: Is there any other reason aircraft movements around the relevant airports would not be fully captured by WebTrak?

Mr Harfield : No. All of the air traffic that we monitor—to my understanding—should be fed into WebTrak. I will take it on notice to confirm it, but some police operations may be suppressed from WebTrak for security reasons.

Senator STERLE: Thank you. Chair, that is all I have for Airservices Australia and Aviation and Airports Division.

Senator CAMERON: Mr Harfield, I note the document that you put out—the aircraft noise management document, Airservices commitment to aircraft noise management. Are you aware of that document? On the back of it you indicate that you have the NFPMS—the noise and flight path monitoring system.

Mr Harfield : That is correct.

Senator CAMERON: Does that system monitor existing noise from Kingsford Smith over the Blue Mountains?

Mr Harfield : There would be a range of monitors that would be around or in close proximity to Kingsford Smith that would be monitored. I am unaware—we can take it on notice—whether there are any up in the Blue Mountains.

Senator CAMERON: The flights that go over the Blue Mountains now, I think I said this morning, range according to Flightradar24—is that an accurate app?

Mr Harfield : The aircraft that are painted on that particular application are painting with ADS-B, and it is accurate.

Senator CAMERON: It is accurate? A lot of people in the Blue Mountains now are following the flights going over from Kingsford Smith. Some of them are as low as 13,000 feet and some of them are up over about 24,000 feet. At night you can actually hear them in your living room—the flights taking off from Kingsford Smith—at those ranges. Was it Airservices Australia that came up with the idea that the incoming flights under 5,000 feet would simply be like a car driving past the house on the road?

Mr Harfield : No, Senator.

Senator CAMERON: Where did that come from?

Mr Harfield : I am unaware, Senator. But there are a range of comparisons for certain decibels that would be equated to a certain activity such as a car passing, for example, so therefore that comparison could be made that, if, for example, the noise range is 40 decibels, that would be the equivalent of a car passing. But I do not know where the comparisons are or what the study was that actually determined those comparisons.

Senator CAMERON: It was not Airservices Australia?

Mr Harfield : No, it was not.

Senator CAMERON: You did the flight paths basically?

Mr Harfield : We just designed the flight paths.

Senator CAMERON: You have got enough on your plate with these crazy flight paths over the most populated area in the Blue Mountains. That is your doing.

Mr Harfield : No. We just designed indicative flight paths with the constraints.

Senator CAMERON: With the constraints! Okay. In terms of night flights, I think Mr Mrdak indicated that there were constraints on the flights coming in at night simply because of airline timetables. Would that be right, Mr Mrdak?

Mr Mrdak : Patterns of operation are dictated by passenger demand.

Senator CAMERON: But it is not just passenger flights, is it? There would be freight flights.

Mr Mrdak : There are freight operations. That is correct.

Senator CAMERON: They do not have the same constraint, do they?

Mr Mrdak : It depends on the market. Often the overnight airfreight market depends on having goods into a market at the start of the next business day. That very much drives overnight airfreight demand.

Senator CAMERON: The airfreight demand, if you cannot get into Kingsford Smith to service New South Wales, would obviously come through Western Sydney Airport, wouldn't it?

Mr Mrdak : That may be one of the growth opportunities for Western Sydney Airport. Similarly at the moment there is airfreight coming through Canberra Airport for Sydney.

Senator CAMERON: You call that a growth opportunity. Probably if you were under the flight path you would call it noise pollution.

Mr Mrdak : I think there is a lot of discussion yet to happen about flight paths and noise impacts, but certainly we do see some opportunities, albeit with very limited numbers, for night operations, as illustrated in the EIS.

Senator CAMERON: But the EIS is not very conclusive, is it, because we have just heard that the airport operator can make the decision, that airlines will make the decision, that freight forwarders will make the decision when they come in, and, once that airport is built, there is nothing—if that flight path stays the same—to stop more flights coming for freight over that merge point in the lower Blue Mountains.

Mr Mrdak : I think we have spent a lot of today talking about why we are reviewing those merge points.

Senator EDWARDS: It is hard to imagine a time that we have not been talking about it today!

Senator CAMERON: You haven't been here, mate. You wouldn't have a clue.

Senator EDWARDS: That is not true. We have been on and on and on about this.

Senator CAMERON: You might not think it is important, but others do.

Senator EDWARDS: It is important, but it also important that we have effective logistics out of this country.

Senator CAMERON: Mr Harfield, in terms of the 05/23 configuration of the runways, are there other options to mitigate the noise over the Blue Mountains residential areas?

Mr Harfield : If you are asking, with that runway configuration, are there ways of ameliorating the noise impact through the design of the flight paths—

Senator CAMERON: Yes.

Mr Harfield : yes, there are, and that is the work that would be done with the detailed design and the process that is outlined post the EIS.

Senator CAMERON: When you say, 'post the EIS', the EIS has been finished? It is all over, red rover, for the initial EIS?

Senator Colbeck: The draft EIS.

Senator CAMERON: Have you done any work since the work that you did on the draft EIS?

Mr Harfield : We are waiting for the outcome of the consultation with the EIS and then we will undertake the work. We pointed out this morning, I understand, from Mr McRandle, that we only met as recently as last week to determine the forward process of designing the detailed flight paths.

Senator CAMERON: In the UK and in Europe and in some places in the US you have additional restrictions placed on night flights. If it is 45 dBA or 50 dBA, there is a 10-dBA addition because flights are coming in at night.

Mr Harfield : There are some locations that have principles such as that.

Senator CAMERON: That is to recognise that flights coming in at night are more intrusive. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield : It is that we try to minimise the noise impact of flights here in Australia. We have things called noise abatement procedures at night-time. For example, at Kingsford Smith airport, if you are operating there at night during the curfew hours, which some freight aircraft do, they have to take off and land over Botany Bay to minimise the impact on the built-up areas.

Senator CAMERON: I am afraid we cannot move Botany Bay to the Blue Mountains, so we do not have that luxury.

Mr Harfield : There are some areas where, with the runway 05/23 configuration down to the south-west, you could have flights arriving from the south-west and taking off to the south-west, for example. This is part of what would happen during the detailed design work, where we would set up the noise abatement procedures associated with the operations of the airport.

Senator CAMERON: So what are the populated areas that would then be affected by that?

Mr Harfield : I am just talking off the top of my head about possible solutions; I do not have—

Mr Mrdak : This is all set out—

Mr Harfield : This is about what we would have to do during the detailed design work.

Mr Mrdak : Senator, the details of that operation are all set out in the EIS.

Senator CAMERON: Maybe you can point me to where it is in the EIS.

Mr Mrdak : I am happy to do that.

Senator CAMERON: It is a big EIS with a number of volumes, so, if you say that is dealt with, I am happy to have a look at that.

Mr Mrdak : We will give you the details of that.

Senator CAMERON: That is good. When you start doing the final EIS, will you be applying the principles that are outlined in your documentation for noise and overflights of residential areas?

Mr Mrdak : Yes, we will.

Senator CAMERON: How would you test the ambient noise in the Blue Mountains now and the noise that could be there with the operation of the Western Sydney airport? How would you go about doing that?

Mr Harfield : That is a little bit beyond my brief and my understanding, but we will have a process in place. Usually we do some modelling and environmental assessment before we approve the flight path. Depending on the impact is whether it would be referred under the EPBC Act with the Department of the Environment. Subsequent to that, after implementation, we put in noise monitoring and make sure we monitor that it meets the requirements of what has been set out.

Senator CAMERON: On overflights: for instance, my street I think has one of the maximum numbers of overflights. Three or four streets up the road it is saying there are no overflights, but noise from a jetliner landing does not stop a few streets away from the overflight, does it?

Mr Harfield : Noise does permeate.

Senator CAMERON: That depends, I understand, on atmospheric conditions.

Mr Harfield : Yes, that is my assumption as well.

Senator CAMERON: What are the conditions that would make the noise worse?

Mr Harfield : I do not know off the top of my head.

Senator CAMERON: Okay, but that is one of the areas you would look at, isn't it?

Mr Harfield : We would be looking at the principles as we have outlined in that documentation in designing the flight path.

Senator CAMERON: You would get experts in your organisation to—

Mr Harfield : Yes. We do noise modelling and an environmental assessment, and for that assessment it depends on the potential impact whether it is referred to the environment department or not.

Senator CAMERON: So the public have to rely on your modelling. As I put it to Mr Mrdak: why don't we get a few flights over there in the middle of the night, and let us hear what a flight at 4,000 feet actually does over the Blue Mountains? You do not know what that would be, do you, other than modelling it?

Mr Harfield : No, not at this moment in time.

Senator CAMERON: So how can the EIS be so sure that it will not have a significant impact?

Mr Harfield : I am not sure that the environmental impact statement says that.

Senator CAMERON: On one hand we are told it is just like a car going past, by the Deputy Prime Minister: 'It's just like a car going past your house. Don't worry; it's not a problem.' Yet the EIS itself says that the lifestyle and amenity impact for the lower Blue Mountains and Blaxland is a negative impact and that it is almost certain that the impact will be there. It said the consequences are major and the significance rating is very high. Did you have any input into this?

Mr Harfield : No, Senator. As I explained earlier, our input was the design of the indicative flight paths based on the constraints we were issued from the department.

Senator CAMERON: Are you surprised then that your indicative flight paths have produced a situation in an area of the lower Blue Mountains where we have these negative impacts that are going to be almost certain, with major consequences and a significance rating of very high? Have you had a look at this since you designed those flight paths?

Mr Harfield : I personally have not looked at the environmental impact statement since that time.

Senator CAMERON: Has someone in your department? I am not asking you personally. When I say 'you', it is your organisation.

Mr Harfield : I would have to check on that. However, the whole idea of doing a draft environmental impact statement and putting it out for consultation is based on the inputs that were placed in there and putting it out for consultation, which is occurring, and that feedback would then be taken into account before the environmental impact statement is finalised.

Senator CAMERON: Can I just ask one on notice?

CHAIR: Mate, put it on notice in written form. We have run out of time.

Senator CAMERON: I will come back to it when Senator Xenophon has finished, and I will not put it on notice.

Senator XENOPHON: I will try to race through these as quickly as I can. You can stare and I can stare—I think you are just tired; it is late!

Senator Colbeck: It is called paying attention, Senator Xenophon!

Senator XENOPHON: I just want to go to issues about the ADS-B rollout. I asked some questions on 18 August. This was when Dick Smith expressed some concerns about the rollout of the ADS-B and the impact that could have on general aviation. I asked you questions about the issue of at-risk component remuneration aspects—bonuses, in effect. You said that you had to take that on notice, and you then gave me an answer which I got a few weeks later. You gave a general answer about corporate performance, Airservices performance, which is a whole 20 per cent; business group performance, performance against key indicators and initiatives, for which the executives business group has primary accountability, at 60 per cent; and individual performance, 20 per cent. Does that mean you can get a 60 per cent bonus in your pay?

Mr Harfield : As we have said, we do not have bonuses. It is an at-risk component within the remuneration.

Senator XENOPHON: But you are getting paid more money?

Mr Harfield : No, we get paid a portion of the at-risk component of our remuneration. In other words, for example, if you got paid $100,000 as a remuneration package, $40,000 of that could be at risk, so you would get a portion of that, and you do not get a portion if you have not met your targets. In other words, you get paid less than your annual thing if you do not get 100 per cent.

Senator XENOPHON: So it is not so much a bonus, but if you do not perform, do not meet your targets, you get less money?

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator XENOPHON: Which basically means that it is kind of like a reverse bonus, in the sense that, if you do not perform, you do not get the remuneration.

Mr Harfield : You do not get your full—correct.

Senator XENOPHON: Does that mean that the remuneration is loaded up, in a sense, and if you do not perform you do not get it?

Mr Harfield : It is not loaded up. You get a package that you sign up to as part of your remuneration, and a portion of that—

Senator XENOPHON: If you do not meet the targets, you do not get that part of it?

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator XENOPHON: It works out to 100 per cent, basically, doesn't it, for the three components of it—20 per cent, 60 per cent and 20 per cent?

Mr Harfield : Yes. For example, that portion of your at-risk component—if I use the example that I used before of $100,000, and $40,000 of that is at risk, that $40,000 is divided up into those parameters.

Senator XENOPHON: Of the at-risk component?

Mr Harfield : Of the at-risk component, yes.

Senator XENOPHON: Got it. Going back to the issue of the ADS-B, does the ADS-B make up any part of those at-risk components?

Mr Harfield : No, it does not.

Senator XENOPHON: Not at all?

Mr Harfield : No. The reason I took it on notice the last time when you asked that was that I was not familiar with specific packages. In review of that, it is not the case in regard to ADS-B.

Senator XENOPHON: So whether ADS-B rolls out or not has no impact at all on the remuneration one way or the other?

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator XENOPHON: It is good to hear that. Can I just go to the issue of the question I put on notice about the incident that took place in Melbourne, in Essendon Airport, on 12 November 2013, which you are familiar with?

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator XENOPHON: You indicated in an answer that Airservices had reviewed coordination procedures and in July 2014 implemented a number of actions, which I will not have to repeat—although my understanding is that those questions were due in December and we did not get them until February. Is that right?

Mr Harfield : We provided the questions on notice in return in accordance with the time lines.

Senator XENOPHON: So, if we did not get them, that might have something to do with the department.

Mr Mrdak : I explained earlier there was some delay in having some of the questions completed but then also cleared by the minister.

Senator XENOPHON: So the minister did not clear them within the time required by the Senate. So you guys complied within the time frame. If it said by 4 December, for instance, you would have provided it to the department, to the minister's office, by 4 December, or whatever the time line was? I am satisfied with that. That is relevant in the following context. You answered that you implemented a number of actions about Melbourne Tower, keeping them informed in terms of the status of Essendon. Melbourne Tower was advised of aircraft conducting instrument approaches to runway 26 at Essendon. Melbourne Tower's was given increased awareness of potential conflicts which are operating on runway 16 for departures. In addition, an interim system enhancement has been implemented which involves a visual prompt. So all these safeguards were put in place. What I am trying to understand is—and I wrote to your chair, Sir Angus Houston, recently—you are aware of what happened at Melbourne and Essendon airports on Australia Day this year?

Mr Harfield : That is correct.

Senator XENOPHON: Can you just run us through that very briefly, because it concerns me that it has happened again, despite these processes that have been put in place.

Mr Harfield : It may be easier to run through a document I can table which actually has both the incident of 12 November 2013—the original incident—

CHAIR: Do you want to table that?

Mr Harfield : Yes. I have got that one to be tabled. It has got the actions taken but also the event of 26 January and the details associated with that.

Senator XENOPHON: Maybe we could get some copies through the secretariat.

Mr Harfield : I have got some copies here as well.

Senator XENOPHON: I move that it be tabled.

CHAIR: Yes; we—

Senator XENOPHON: I am trying to get through it, Chair. So you understand my concern in this regard? I obviously have not had an opportunity to look at this. You understand my concern that—

Mr Harfield : I very much understand your concern that there are two incidents that are very similar. As you will see from the document that we have provided and tabled, there are some extra circumstances that occurred differently from the first one that created the same event, and that is what we are investigating, to put in extra mitigation to ensure that it does not happen again.

Senator XENOPHON: It is a pity I did not see this beforehand, because I obviously will not be able to ask you questions about it. I may have to put some questions on notice or ask them at the following estimates or another committee hearing. In this last incident, it appears as though the incident has been reported as loss of separation. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield : This last incident, on 26 January, was a loss of separation, yes.

Senator XENOPHON: The November 2013 incident, according to people that I speak to in aviation, as I understand it was only reported as loss of communication, yet it might be that the circumstances were just as serious. It was loss of separation only, wasn't it, in substance?

Mr Harfield : It was actually a breakdown of coordination, the first instance. The second incident was also a breakdown of coordination, which resulted in a loss of separation. In the first incident, although it was a breakdown of coordination, there was no loss of separation as a result.

Senator XENOPHON: You are absolutely certain of that?

Mr Harfield : Yes, I am certain. That is the same as the ATSB report.

Senator XENOPHON: Because of time constraints—I have got a very patient chair—could you explain, not now but on notice, why that is the case. You are aware that, under the Transport Safety Investigation Act, it is compulsory reporting—the loss of separation must be reported.

Mr Harfield : That is correct—and breakdowns of coordination are also compulsorily reported.

CHAIR: Senator Xenophon, can we go to putting some on notice?

Senator XENOPHON: I am doing my best. That is what I am doing.

CHAIR: How much have you got in ATSB? We have got AMSA after that and then something after that.

Senator XENOPHON: Can you give me three or four minutes? I am racing through it as quickly as I can. Chair, I have been very patient.

CHAIR: I know. How much do you need in ATSB?

Senator XENOPHON: These are safety issues that I have been asked—

CHAIR: Righto.

Senator XENOPHON: This is just a broad question—it is not a fishing question—but I want to ask: has Airservices made any requests for the metadata of air traffic controllers to be obtained?

Mr Harfield : Not to my knowledge. I will confirm that, but, to my knowledge, no.

Senator XENOPHON: So you are not checking up on air traffic controllers about who they have been speaking to or whatever?

Mr Harfield : Not at all.

Senator XENOPHON: I do not know. It is not a trick question.

Mr Harfield : And I am providing an answer: not at all.

Senator XENOPHON: And you do not have any issue with air traffic controllers speaking to members of parliament who have got an interest in this field?

Mr Harfield : Not at all.

Senator XENOPHON: There will not be retribution?

Mr Harfield : Absolutely not.

Senator XENOPHON: In terms of the issue of loss of separation, two incidents were brought to my attention. You are obviously familiar with the incident of 5 July last year.

Mr Harfield : That is correct.

Senator XENOPHON: There has been some media coverage of that. As a result of that, I had a couple of emails from people who were on a couple of flights. You may want to take this on notice. One was a flight on 14 December 2013. The report was that the Qantas aircraft touched the wheels for a split second then took off akin to something out of the movie Top Gun—that was what it felt like for the passenger.

CHAIR: We dealt with this earlier.

Senator XENOPHON: No, not with Air Services. Seriously, this is a matter that is a separate issue. I will do it as quickly as I can.

CHAIR: We did that this morning, didn't we?

Senator XENOPHON: No. Where there have been go-arounds, does Air Services find out about them?

Mr Harfield : Yes we do. We record them and they are logged.

Senator XENOPHON: Can you provide me more information about the afternoon 14 December 2013 on a Qantas aircraft where a passenger said the pilot went on air on the PA afterwards and said: we needed to take that action so that we could avoid collecting—or language to that effect—a Virgin aircraft on the tarmac.

Mr Harfield : I will look into it.

Senator XENOPHON: Another go-around occurred on Jetstar flight JQ 710 on 22 December 2015. If you could let us know what occurred there. Can you provide us with any documents between CASA and Air Services and any other relevant documents because those operations have been suspended.

Mr Harfield : We will do that but there is also another document we will have to table.

CHAIR: Well there you go, Chair. I move: that these documents be tabled.

Mr Harfield : So this is a time line of all the interactions we have had in regards to LAHSO and the actions that were taken. But also we will provide the rest of the correspondence on notice.

CHAIR: We now move to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.