Grounded: Airport says Greens’ planned flight caps and curfew would cost billions

The Greens have claimed sleep was a key reason for a campaign against Brisbane Airport which could cost the economy $2.8 billion and lead to the loss of about 3100 flights a year, according to a report from the airport.

May 29, 2023, updated May 29, 2023
Brisbane Airport has made claims of huge cost for curfews. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Brisbane Airport has made claims of huge cost for curfews. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

The Greens have proposed the flight caps and curfews as part of a continued campaign which was named as one of the key reasons for the defeat of Labor MP Terri Butler at the most recent federal election.

A key reason in the party’s campaign was that getting a good night’s sleep was essential to a healthy lifestyle.

The Greens have said they would introduce a private members’ Bill to Parliament to restrict the number of flights. They want to cap the number of flights to 45 per hour and halt all night time operations between 10pm and 6am, which would include overnight cargo.

Brisbane Airport said Queensland exports would be slashed through the loss of freight capacity. Tourism for the 2032 Olympics would also be affected.

“What the Greens MPs don’t appreciate is that aviation services are critical for regional, rural and remote communities,” BAC said.

“A restriction on arrivals and departures at Brisbane Airport to 45 per hour more than halves the capacity of Brisbane Airport’s dual runway system and would cap movements below the current numbers.

“The Greens are advocating for Brisbane Airport to be locked into less capacity than it had a decade ago when the media and travelling public were advocating for another runway because so many flights were being delayed due to a lack of capacity.

“Back then Brisbane Airport saw more than 45 movements an hour during the peaks off the old runway configuration. There are periods now during the morning peak when Brisbane Airport currently handles 50-60 flights per hour. ”

The report commissioned by BAC, said the impact of flight caps would be felt most by Queensland’s regional, rural, and remote communities and that by 2026, the Greens caps and curfew would mean a reduction of 239,000 seats for passengers per year. T

“This as our population is predicted to soar 16 per cent by the Olympics, to just north of 6 million people.

“It would also push up the cost of living for those outside of urban areas, as cargo and freight prices rise, impacting everything from perishable produce, time-sensitive medicines and pharmaceuticals. Queensland would be the only state where next-day delivery of time-sensitive items could not be guaranteed. ”

The Greens spokesperson for Infrastructure  Elizabeth Watson-Brown said getting a good night’s sleep is essential to a healthy life, which is why the Greens were backing the community’s demands for the introduction of a 10pm curfew and a cap on flights.

“We have supported this from the beginning. Sydney Airport already has a cap and a curfew to protect local residents from the worst of aircraft noise, and nobody has been able to explain to us why what’s good enough for Sydney isn’t good enough for Brisbane,” she said.

“In the previous Parliament, Greens leader Adam Bandt introduced a private members bill to legislate these protections for Brisbane residents.

“As air traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels, more and more Brisbane residents are suffering under BAC’s new runway, and more residents are understandably getting fed up. We’ll be using the energy from the protest on June 10th to re-introduce our bill to parliament for a curfew and cap on flights and to call on the Labor and Liberal parties to back the community.”

“Sydney has had a curfew and a cap on flights since the 1990s, and it of course remains a thriving global city with some of the cheapest airfares in the country.”


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