Engagement and Reporting

    Why do you have more INFORM activities than CONSULT, INVOLVE or COLLABORATE?

    The IAP2 Spectrum does not assign a higher value to any particular engagement level. They each have a role to play depending on the intent of the engagement, the decision being made, the timing and status of the activity, and the level of influence the community can reasonably expect to have on a decision.

    All engagement programs will have a large number of INFORM level actions to ensure awareness of the opportunity to be involved is created and that sufficient background information is provided to support meaningful, informed engagement. This is reflected in Airservices Community Engagement Plan (CEP).   

    We are using multiple channels to advise of and support (INFORM) each PIR focus area engagement, for example:

    • Engage Airservices update to advise of an activity
    • Letter to NCIS registered community members to alert them of the activity
    • Email to community groups to alert them of the activity
    • Letter to identified noise sensitive sites to alert them of the activity
    • Letter to elected representatives and Councils requesting sharing on social media of the upcoming activity
    • Letter to the Sunshine Coast Community Aviation Forum (CAF) to alert them of the activity
    • Letter to the airport requesting sharing on social media of the upcoming activity
    • Release of information materials to support community involvement (E.g. Short-Term Noise Monitoring Site Feasibility Study; fact sheet on community suggested alternatives submission process, criteria and assessment process; fact sheet on short-term noise monitoring submissions;  fact sheet on noise modelling methodology etc.)
    • Updates to Engage Airservices FAQs to share responses to common enquiries received so all community members have access to this information
    • Update on Engage Airservices reminding the community of closing dates for submissions
    • Update on Engage Airservices noting the close of submission periods to confirm the end of an activity.

    All of these activities seek to ensure broad awareness of opportunities for input or to provide the necessary background information to enable meaningful community involvement in the topic being engaged upon.

    Having a single INFORM activity for each CONSULT, INVOLVE or COLLABORATE activity would be ineffective in creating broad awareness of the opportunity to participate and would not be sufficient to provide the necessary supporting information to the community.

    How do you report on submission numbers?

    First we report on the total number of submissions received during the engagement activity. The total number does not include duplicate submissions (i.e. the same submission from the same person a number of times – this can occur if a person sends their submission by email but also uploads it onto Engage for example). 

    Then we break down the submissions by type of submitter (e.g. individual community members, community groups, elected representatives, Councils etc.). We do not apply any greater weighting to any of these submitter types, and the breakdown is purely for reporting purposes to give a sense of who is involved in the engagement activity.

    If we have received 'form' submissions (letters written using the same template) we will also report on the number of these, compared to the number of 'individual' submissions. We use the term individual submissions to refer to any submission from a community member that does not follow the form submission format. 

    Form submissions may be from individual community members, community groups or other sources. We also indicate if a form submission was received from a community group or other non-individual submitter. Otherwise all form submissions are counted as being from individual community members. Form submissions are still counted in total submission numbers, as long as they can be attributed to different sources.

    Will you be responding to individual submissions and correspondence?

    As advised at the beginning of the PIR process we will publish all questions and answers on our Engage page rather than responding to individuals. This is to ensure that all community members have access to the same information.

    How does your complaints process work?

    Airservices treats all complaints seriously and respectfully. Each new issue raised is investigated and responded to.

    Our Noise Complaints and Information Services (NCIS), as the name suggests, receives and records complaints and provides information on the operations that affected the submitter of the complaint. They cannot direct aircraft to stop flying or to fly in different locations. They do however monitoring where complaints are being received and report on any new issues that may need to be investigated.

    Where a complaint has been responded to and there is no further information available to assist the submitter of the complaint, NCIS will advise that they have provided all of the information they have available and that while the person is welcome to continue to contact them, NCIS may not provide a response. This is simply because they have no further information to respond with. Any further contact is still recorded and any new issues raised will be investigated and responded to.

    We report on “complainant” numbers as opposed to “complaint” numbers to provide a more accurate understanding of the number of people experiencing issues from aircraft operations as opposed to the number of times people have complained. If we were to report on the number of complaints, the data could be skewed by one or two community members who may be particularly sensitive to aircraft noise making multiple complaints. While the impact on these individuals is not to be dismissed, we seek to understand how many people are being affected.

    As we report on “complainant” numbers each month, a community member only needs raise an issue once each month to be included in the reported figures. Airservices’ reporting focuses on the issues raised as well as the number of complainants (individuals).

    Where can I read about the history of Airservices engagement on this project?

Noise Monitoring and Aircraft Operations

    Why are there three noise monitors available for the PIR?

    We have three temporary noise monitors available for the Sunshine Coast PIR. This is consistent with our Post Implementation Review (PIR) approach, keeping in mind we can have multiple PIRs underway across the country at any time. The noise monitors being used for Sunshine Coast are being redeployed following completion of noise monitoring for the Hobart PIR.

    It is not necessary to place a noise monitor in every suburb or community to gain meaningful noise results, as the data from the three locations can be analysed to predict noise levels in other locations.

    Our noise specialists have identified zones appropriate for temporary noise monitoring. These zones experience regular scheduled passenger aircraft operations, are fully or partly within our modelled N60 or N70 noise contours and are complaint with noise monitoring standards. The Short-Term Noise Monitoring Site Feasibility Assessment provides further details of the criteria used to select the zones. It is not possible to consult with the community on the identification of appropriate zones for the noise monitors, as these have to adhere to a number of criteria and therefore the zone identification is quite constrained.

    The selection of sites within each zone will be the subject of engagement with the community. Considerations for selection of the final noise monitor locations within each zone will include background noise, access for maintenance, location security and data coverage and access to power. 

    We generally conduct temporary noise monitoring in a PIR for a period of three months, unless the airport is subject to seasonal variations in terms of wind direction that affects runway use. We are able to extend this to six months for the Sunshine Coast PIR, which may allow the option to relocate one or more of the monitors to capture data in additional locations but will have implications for the PIR completion timing. You can vote on this option in our poll on the project homepage. 

    Noise monitors will be linked to WebTrak to provide timely information on actual noise levels to the community, while the noise monitoring report will be prepared at the end of the monitoring period.

    What is the difference between noise modelling and noise monitoring?

    Short-term noise monitoring involves placing a temporary noise monitor in a location for a period of time to gather actual noise data as aircraft fly overhead.

    Noise modelling involves taking information on aircraft operations and placing this in a scientifically calibrated model to determine the likely noise levels in an area. This is generally performed in environmental assessments to forecast future noise levels, however it can also be completed to review noise levels based on real operations. The latter is more accurate, as the “real operations” model is based on actual aircraft operations rather than a forward assumption of them.

    We have indicated the intent to complete both noise modelling and noise monitoring as part of this PIR. Initially modelling was planned so information on noise levels could be provided to the community ahead of noise monitoring being able to take place (due to the impact of COVID-19 on operations and the need to delay noise monitoring until representative aircraft numbers were flying). However, due to the faster than expected recovery of Sunshine Coast air traffic movements, we have been able to bring the noise monitoring forward and will commence this as soon as possible following engagement on noise monitoring site selection.

    We still plan to provide noise modelling information for three key reasons:

    • We can provide information on noise experienced during COVID-19 affected operations to the community, including any unexpected operational outcomes
    • We can provide information on noise experienced in locations where we are not able to place a noise monitor due to the location not meeting the criteria for noise monitoring
    • We can provide information on noise outcomes while the noise monitoring starts to capture data. This information may support community consideration of suggested improvements, noting noise monitoring reporting will not be available until the end of the monitoring period (though individual noise monitor readings will be available on WebTrak).

    We believe the provision of both noise modelling and noise monitoring for this PIR will provide the Sunshine Coast community with better information on the noise being experienced as a result of the new flight paths.

    Where can I find out about Airservices Noise Monitoring?

    You can read more about Airservices Noise Monitoring on our Website. 

    Will the PIR include an Airport curfew?

    Airservices does not implement or monitor airport curfews and as such, this is not part of the PIR scope. Sunshine Coast Airport is a 24/7 airport and does not have defined hours of operation.

    Where can I find information about current aircraft operations in my area?

    You can read more information about current aircraft operations on the Sunshine Coast on our Aircraft in Your Neighbourhood website.

    You may also like to access WebTrak to see where aircraft fly and explore historical trends and patterns.


    Where can I find information on the Sunshine Coast Airport Noise Abatement Procedures and the Fly Neighbourly Policy?

    You can read more information about the Noise Abatement Procedures and the Airport Fly Neighbourly Policy on our Aircraft in Your Neighbourhood website.

Aircraft Emissions

    Are there pollution effects from being overflown?

    Engines powered by fossil fuels always produce emissions, including car and motorbike engines, boat engines and aircraft engines. To reduce aircraft emissions the aviation industry has committed to a range of strategies. More information about these strategies can be found on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport,Regional Development and Communications website at https://infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/environmental/emissions/index.aspx 

    As part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) air quality and greenhouse gas emissions were considered. The environmental impact statements and Coordinator-General’s findings are available online on Queensland’s Department of State Development website which can be accessed at http://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/assessments-andapprovals/sca-expansion-project-eis-documents.html

    Do aircraft cause residues on roofs and in tank water?

    Dark residues which accrete on houses, cars and other outdoor objects are quite often attributed by the public to aircraft emissions, particularly in areas which are in the vicinity of the airport.

    Residues of this nature can be caused from a number of sources including:

    • Pollutants combining with dust and other particulate matter
    • Incomplete combustion of fuels which can relate to bushfires and burn offs as well as incomplete combustion from vehicle and other engines
    • Biological residues as a result of release by some plants or fungi.

    While some aircraft may contribute to a very small proportion of residues because they produce gaseous emissions at lower height levels during approach, take-off and landings, which can combine with dust and other particles in the atmosphere to create a residue, the levels being emitted are so low in comparison with emissions from cars and other industry that the contribution, even in the vicinity of the airport, is negligible. 

    It is therefore considered that aircraft emissions do not have an effect on water quality due to outdoor residues which occur due mainly to other factors being washed off into water catchments or rainwater tanks.

    Do aircraft release fuel?

    Release of fuel is a rarely-used emergency measure. If, shortly after take-off, an aircraft is forced to turn round and land again, it has to release fuel as it is not possible to land with full tanks for safety reasons. This is allowed only at a certain height and at a certain speed. 

    Under the Air Navigation (Fuel Spillage) Regulations 1999, the operator of an aircraft within the Commonwealth’s jurisdiction must ensure that fuel is not released from an aircraft during flight unless it is:

    • in an emergency over areas where it does not create a hazard to a person or property on the ground; or 
    • according to a direction issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority under 150(2)(a) of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988; or 
    • according to a permission given by a person performing duty in Air Traffic Control. Modern aviation fuel comes in many varieties but all are derivatives of kerosene. 

    According to scientific studies conducted by Canada’s National Research Council and documented in the publication For Greener Skies (2002), the kerosene involved evaporates into the air and poses no threat to the environment or to people on the ground.

General Questions

Community Information Session Questions - November 18 2021

    What are the ambient noise levels recorded on temporary noise monitors in place at the Sunshine Coast?

    The average ambient noise levels (background noise) recorded on the temporary noise monitors at the Sunshine Coast are:





    54.8 dB

    47.7 dB


    Ambient noise monitoring level can also be gathered from WebTrak when there are no aircraft overhead. Please note that the noise levels registering on the monitors can be influenced by other factors such as nearby activities, operating vehicle as well as animal and insect noises. Although these may contribute to a sudden spike in noise levels on WebTrak they will not be registered as an aircraft noise event.

    How many people and properties are overflown by the RWY13 RNP and RNAV arrival?

    Our analysis of the two RWY 13 Arrivals flight paths (pictured below), using a 1km buffer, shows that the total population under the RNAV is 2,500 and the RNP is 1,600 according to the 2016 Census results. This means that there are approximately 900 more people being overflown by the RNAV flight path.