What is the purpose of the PIR?

    Airservices is conducting a Post Implementation Review (PIR) of the flight paths and airspace changes associated with the operation of Brisbane Airport’s new parallel runway, which opened in July 2020.

     PIRs are conducted 12 months after all new flight paths commence operating, to enable reliable capture of operations data giving consideration to seasonal variations.

     The outcomes of PIRs are used by Airservices to inform future change considerations, decision-making and the continuous improvement of our processes, as well as to identify opportunities to improve noise outcomes or operational efficiency where practicable.

    What will be covered in the PIR?

    The PIR will review the actual noise and operational outcomes against those forecast during planning, the effectiveness of the Brisbane Airport Noise Abatement Procedures (NAPs), efficiency of the flight paths and procedures, and opportunities to minimise the impact of aircraft operations on the community, including review of known areas of operational interest to the community.

    How long will the PIR process take? 

    Generally PIRs take approximately 12 – 18 months to complete, depending the scale of the changes being assessed, the amount of feedback received and the number of potential alternatives submitted by the community and industry.  

    This PIR is being undertaken in two phases, the first reviewing COVID-19 affected operations and the second post COVID-19 operations after a return to stabilised air traffic movements.  We are unsure of when phase two will be able to be conducted due to the impacts of ongoing lockdowns and border closures.  The timing for this phase will be discussed with the community as we progress through the PIR.

    Why will the process take so long? 

    The PIR needs to provide adequate time for the community to consider information presented by Airservices and then prepare submissions in response. Airservices needs time to assess these submissions against our defined criteria and to engage with the community on the outcomes. 

    In addition, Airservices is proposing a two-phase process for the PIR. Both phases will consider the same elements, but under different operating conditions – Phase one: COVID-19 affected operations; and Phase two: post COVID-19 operations.

    Why are you doing a two phase PIR?

    We need to review the current operations which have been affected by COVID-19 as well as operations following the recovery from COVID-19 impacts, when this occurs.  It will be important for the community to be able to input to both, as the operations we are experiencing now may not necessarily continue after industry recovers.

    Will the PIR redesign the flight paths?

    No, the current design is safe and compliant with required aviation rules and standards, and has been developed to minimise the impact of aircraft operations on the community as much as practicable.  There may be opportunities to improve operations and noise outcomes now that actual operational data has been gathered.  Where an improvement can be made, it will be identified and progressed through this PIR

    What capacity are the runways operating at currently? 

    For the FY2021, traffic at Brisbane Airport was at trending between 50% and 70% of pre-COVID levels, depending on border closures and lockdowns, with domestic flights forming the majority of movements.

    Will we have to wait up to 18 months for changes to be implemented? 

    Where improvements are identified as safe and feasible, and are able to be implemented readily, Airservices will consider implementing prior to completion of the PIR. The outcomes of the PIR will be shared as they are developed.

    Should a larger flight path change be identified, and deemed safe and feasible, this will need to go through our full flight path change program, which includes flight path design, environmental assessment and community engagement. This can take 6-12 months to complete. 

    How can the community contribute to the Review?

    The PIR will include extensive engagement with the community, industry and other stakeholders including face-to-face meetings, online forums and information sessions.

     The community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the Terms of Reference, current operations, community engagement and noise impacts as well as make submissions for suggested improvements. The community and industry can submit alternatives at any time during the review, but a formal engagement period will be delivered to encourage submissions.  

    All submissions and outcomes will be provided to the community to review, discussion and feedback. Information identifying individual submitters will be removed prior to sharing.

    What are the main changes or alternatives that will be considered?

    All proposals suggested by the community and/or industry, that fall within Airservices’ legislated remit, will be considered. Submissions can be provided on a range of items including:

    • changes to flight paths
    • Noise Abatement Procedures
    • noise sharing options (between various flight paths and runways)
    • use of particular operations
    • any other suggestions that fall within Airservices remit.  

    How will the suggested alternatives be assessed?

    All proposals suggested by the community and/or industry, that fall within Airservices’ legislated remit, will be considered.

     All proposals suggested by the community will be considered against Airservices Flight Path Design Principles. Suggested improvements to flight paths must first meet and comply with aviation standards for aircraft and passenger safety. Once safety and compliance are confirmed, they are then considered against criteria including efficiency, environment including noise and community impact, and network implications.

    Any suggestion that is deemed safe and feasible following review against the above criteria is then progressed through our Flight Path Change Program which also applies Airservices Flight Path Design Principles


    What are the different roles and responsibilities?

    Airservices is the provider of safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable services to the aviation industry. We design flight paths and procedures to link runways to the overarching airspace network. We are responsible for the safety of operations in Brisbane Airport controlled airspace.

    Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) is the operator of Brisbane Airport (BNE). BAC is the decision-maker for all “on airport” activities including new runways and infrastructure requirements in line with the Master Plan and land use planning in and around the airport including future aircraft movements and schedules and development of ANEF.  

    Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is a Government body that regulates Australian aviation safety, including licensing pilots, registration of aircraft, approval of airspace changes and overseeing safety. CASA validates the instrument flight procedures Airservices produces (to ensure they are safe and flyable) and is the ultimate approver of Airspace Change Proposals. 

    Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) is responsible for the design and implementation of the Australian Government's infrastructure, transport and regional development policies and programs. It approves airport infrastructure projects for federally leased airports and considers the advice of the Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Airservices in making its decisions. The Department is also responsible for setting the requirement for federally leased airports to produce ANEF, and the manner of Endorsement (Airservices).

    Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment administers the EPBC Act. The EPBC Act focuses Australian Government interests on the protection of matters of national environmental significance, with the states and territories having responsibility for matters of state and local significance. 

    Where can I find a copy of the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman Report on Brisbane flight path changes?

    The report is being finalised and will be made available on the ANO’s website: https://ano.gov.au/

    Any recommendations will be incorporated into a future draft of the ToR.