Trevor Jones with his Sound Level Meter
Trevor Jones with his Sound Level Meter Melissa Belanic

Tweed residents slam trial flight path

RESIDENTS have slammed a Gold Coast Airport trial flight path which they say has increased the noise levels for more Tweed Shire locals than it’s helped.

The residents say the results of the 12-month trial which launched in January, will be meaningless as the flight path has deviated from the route advertised by Airservices Australia, the government owned corporation that manages air traffic.

Banora Point Ratepayers Association secretary Pat Tate said there had been an “enormous” Tweed resident backlash about increased aircraft noise within a week of the new trial flight path starting in January with many complaining directly to Airservices.

The bulk of the complaints were coming from Oxley Cove, Kingscliff, Fingal and Farrants Hill residents.

“The agreed trial was down the centre of the (Banora Point) golf course,” she said.

Trevor Jones from Lochlonond Dr, Banora Point is among the residents who agree that in practice this has not occurred.

“Since the trial began, at no time do the departing aircraft from runway 14 fly over the golf course,” Mr Jones has written in a complaint to Airservices which he says he has had no response to.

“They fly toward it but then commence turning to starboard near the intersection of Leisure Dr and Darlington Dr which is at the north western end of the golf course, and do not maximise tracking over the golf course.

He said the only aircraft to maximise tracking over the golf course were the arrival flights landing on runway 14 from the south-west. He has called for the trial to be scrapped and the old flight path re-instated.

“The noise levels are excessively higher and very noticeable for a larger amount of residents than those few who may experience a slight reduction in noise levels during the trial,” he said.

Mr Jones also says his own measuring of aircraft noise levels indicates that they are much higher in Banora Point than stated in the Environmental Assessment produced by Airservices prior to the trial commencing.

He said the increased noise levels under the new flight path were a common complaint among his neighbours with one anonymous person even letter dropping Banora Point streets about the issue.

Airservices stated aim for the trial flight path as documented on its website was “to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents and at the request of the community”

It was also meant “to reduce the noise impacts for residents by directing jet departures from Runway 14 to the south-west to maximise tracking over the Banora Point Golf Course”.

Airservices did not answer a series of questions put to them by the Tweed Daily News about the resident’s claims.

But in a statement the corporation said: “A review of the modified flight path is being conducted by Airservices. The decision on whether or not the trial will be permanently implemented will be announced in mid-January 2016. Supporting information will be published on the Airservices website and provided to the community at that same time to help inform the people about the decision.”

Gold Coast Airport declined to comment on the grounds it was an Airservices initiative.

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