Brookfield Community Monitors Installed to Address Flight Plan Noise Impact

Amidst the mounting concerns about escalating aircraft noise in the Brookfield and Upper Brookfield areas, temporary noise monitors have been installed to capture data and analyse the impact of flight operations. 

The move comes as part of a broader initiative by Airservices Australia (ASA) to address the growing issue of aircraft noise across Brisbane. The results from these monitors will be shared with the community after three months of data collection via the WebTrak platform.

The temporary monitors have been strategically positioned at Jones Rd in Brookfield and Carbine Rd in Upper Brookfield. These locations were chosen to assess the noise impact of aircraft departure and arrival operations, respectively. The initiative underscores ASA’s commitment to addressing community concerns and involving residents in the decision-making process.

Community Engagement Sessions to Discuss Flight Path Options

To foster open dialogue and gather valuable input from residents, ASA has announced a series of engagement sessions starting 8 Aug until 10 Sept 2023. These sessions will provide an opportunity for residents to discuss and provide feedback on the proposed flight path changes. 

Among the options being explored are strategies to increase flights over Moreton Bay, reduce nighttime operations’ impact, and distribute flight paths more evenly across affected communities.

Residents of Brookfield, Upper Brookfield, and the nearby suburbs are invited to participate in the community engagement session scheduled for Monday, 14 Aug 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Brookfield Hall within the Brookfield Showgrounds. Additionally, ASA is organising online sessions from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for those unable to attend in person, ensuring that as many voices as possible are heard.

Online Sessions 
Tuesday 22 August
Thursday 31 August
Tuesday 5 September

Resurgence of Controversial Flight Path Plan

As part of a comprehensive Noise Action Plan, ASA has unveiled a revived proposal for significant changes to Brisbane Airport’s flight paths. One of the most contentious aspects of the plan involves permitting round-the-clock simultaneous takeoffs and landings from both runways at the airport. The proposal, known as Simultaneous Opposite Direction Runway Operations (SODPROPS), is aimed at addressing the noise issue.

Initially proposed over two decades ago and subsequently abandoned, the SODPROPS plan was revisited following persistent noise-related complaints from residents. While ASA had initially considered implementing SODPROPS only during nighttime hours, the current proposal envisions extending this practice throughout the day, depending on favourable wind patterns, weather conditions, and air traffic volume.

Brisbane Flight Path
Photo Credit: Airservices Australia

Community Responses and ASA’s Approach

The resurgence of the flight path plan has elicited mixed reactions from the community. Marcus Foth, the spokesperson for the Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance (BFPCA), welcomed the 24-hour implementation of SODPROPS but expressed reservations about ASA’s communication strategies. Foth criticised the agency for inundating the public with technical terminology, hindering meaningful public engagement.

ASA’s broader proposal includes a commitment to exploring alternative flight path options over the next two years. These options aim to distribute noise impact more equitably across the city without increasing the airport’s overall capacity. 

Whilst the plan is still under review, Brisbane Airport Corporation has expressed support for ASA’s efforts to mitigate noise impact, particularly during nighttime operations. The final decision, shaped by community feedback and revisions, will determine the future trajectory of Brisbane’s flight paths and their potential to alleviate residents’ noise concerns.

West Brisbane Residents Affected by Aircraft Noise Invited to Community Focus Group in Upper Brookfield

Trax International is conducting a series of Community Focus Groups among Brisbane residents affected by aircraft noise. For West Brisbane locals, the two-hour focus group will take place this weekend in Upper Brookfield, where a dialogue with Airservices Australia for solutions will take place.

Inputs from the focus group will be added to the final report Trax International will submit to Airservices Australia, which launched the Post-Implementation Review (PIR) into the aircraft noise. Residents are enjoined to be at the Upper Brookfield Hall on Sunday, 12 June 2022, at 3:00 p.m. Participants are required to register to attend. 

Per Trax International

“The main goal of the focus groups is to share information and listen and learn from people affected by aircraft noise; with this in mind, the focus groups intend to:

  • Discuss the potential improvement opportunities identified in the Interim Report;
  • Gather feedback from communities about their experiences of aircraft noise in different areas;
  • Start a dialogue with communities about options to manage and mitigate noise impacts.”

Those who cannot attend may personally approach Trax for an informal discussion as they will open a drop-in session at Aviation Australia on 20 Boronia Rd, Brisbane Airport on 14 June 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

BAC Issues Apology to Brisbane Residents

The Brisbane Airport Corporation, on the other hand, issued an apology to the residents.  

“BAC acknowledges that aircraft noise is a genuine issue for some residents living under flight paths. We are sorry that aircraft noise can cause some people distress. 

“BAC is working with the Federal authority responsible for flight paths and air traffic control, Airservices Australia, to explore options that would allow more planes to depart and land over the Bay.

“We fully support Airservices Australia’s decision to engage airspace design experts Trax International to identify opportunities to increase over the Bay departures and arrivals, among other improvements.

 “Similarly, BAC supports Airservices Australia’s submission to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to allow 7 knot tailwind operations at Brisbane Airport (BNE).”

Tailwind Increase from 5 to 7 Knots Opposed

Meanwhile, a proposal to increase the tailwind limits from five to seven knots has been opposed by the Australian Airline Pilots’ Association. Whilst this may mean that the aircraft can take-off and land over Moreton Bay, thus moving away from the city and reducing the noise, the pilots said it will affect the safety levels. 

aircraft noise
Photo Credit: Don Blackmore/PXHere

AusALPA president Captain Tony Lucas said that they understand the residents’ mental and physical anguish over the aircraft noise, he explained that there should be a better way to fix this issue “rather than increasing the risk for both pilots and the travelling public.”