Community Update – Flight Path Forum

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Flight Path Forum (FPF) has proposed changes to the flight paths over the Sunshine Coast with President Ms Kroon stating that the current flight paths which were developed by Air Services Australia (ASA) in 2019 have been of great concern across the community since they were announced.

Ms Kroon went on to say that FPF is responding to the call from ASA for community suggested alternative flight paths.

“The FPF proposals not only address many of the community concerns but also offer considerable benefits to the Sunshine Coast community – our submission provides a compelling argument for change.”

FPF engaged Global Airspace Solutions P/L (GAS), a CASA accredited consultancy, to advise on possible flight path alternatives.

“The consultant proposed a new western route to the north and east and a new western route to and from the south and west.

“These will significantly reduce the impacts of aircraft noise across the community.  Firstly, because far fewer residents are affected by the new routes and, secondly, it allows the noise burden to be shared, with some aircraft taking these additional arrival and departure routes whilst some flights remain on the current routes.” Ms Kroon said.

GAS also identified improvements to the current flight paths to reduce the noise impact.

“Having aircraft cutting corners has had a huge impact on our members, with planes flying over densely populated areas and GAS has identified a number of tweaks that would mean aircraft stay on the flight path and don’t drift.”

The FPF submission also outlines significant improvements to safety, with the proposed western routes offering an alternative flight path that could be used during adverse weather events.

“We all remember the terrible fires of 2017 and 2019, where the sky was filled with smoke, and helicopters were dousing fires right where the flight paths are now. Having the western routes in place will mean pilots will be able to take off safely to the west, and of course, that will reduce flight delays for the travelling public,” Ms Kroon said.  

“We also believe the airlines will be very pleased with the savings in flying miles our proposals offer, and the climate will benefit from reduced emissions. We think our submission provides sensible and achievable proposals and we look forward to ASA’s consideration of these.”

“FPF would also like to thank Noosa Council, community groups and all the members of the community who made donations or participated in our fund-raising activities making it possible to engage professional flight path design expertise.”

Commenting on the lodgement of the submission to ASA, Ms Kroon stated that the submission had been several years in the making and is supported by community organisations representing residents across the Sunshine Coast.

ASA will provide a summary of all the community suggested alternatives on their website and ASA will then take some months to consider community suggested alternatives and is not expected to release their assessment until March of this year.

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