Flight path trial 'won't help'
A FORMER airline pilot has challenged Air Services Australia on its trial to change a flight path over Tweed Heads.
The 12-month trial will see outgoing jets fly over the Banora Point golf course.
The departure path, originally scheduled to be used from December 11, will now begin in mid-January.
Banora Point resident and former airline pilot Kevin Ladewig said the proposal was nothing new.
"I flew that path 20 years ago," Mr Ladewig said.
He suggested an alternate route, which would take jets between Tweed Heads and Fingal and over the ocean as soon as possible, rather than tracking straight through the growing suburb of Banora Point.
"How any Banora Point resident can think that the "new" track over the Banora Point golf course. .. reduces noise beggars belief," he said.
"Watching TV at night, you miss a good 30 seconds of your program when a jet flies over. Having a conversation, it's so loud you have to stop."
Mr Ladewig said the new path would not improve the situation for Banora Point residents.
He has accrued some 14,500 hours in the air, and has experience in air traffic control.
"The fact is that jet aircraft make a lot of noise and we have to live with it. Having said that, the departure tracks should go over the least amount of residential area possible," he said.
"The easterly track will not stop the noise in Banora Point but will at least make it tolerable. We're not talking an enormous burden on the airlines."
Air Services Australia spokesman Rob Walker said they were committed to "working with the community to achieve improved noise outcomes".
"Changes to flight paths are complex and must consider the type of aircraft that typically fly the route and their capabilities, as well as efficiency and noise impact on the community," Mr Walker said.
"A range of options were considered as part of ongoing efforts to improve noise outcomes."
Mr Walker said the trial path was determined after consultation with the Community Aviation Consultation Group and the Airport Noise Abatement Consultative Committee .
He didn't confirm whether Air Services Australia would consider a path between Tweed Heads and Fingal. CACG chairman Les Fisher said the trial should go ahead in order to determine the best option.
Mr Fisher said CACG expected to be continually consulted about the trial.
Feedback on the trial path shoud be directed to the Noise Complaints and Information Service on 1800 802 584 (free call), email NCIS@ airservicesaustralia.com or by mail to Noise Complaints and Information Service, PO Box 211, Mascot NSW 1460.