The draft Major Development Plan was approved by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP on 19 January 2016, following extensive consultation with the community and other key stakeholders. The draft has since been finalised, in consultation with the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and is now available as a final Major Development Plan.

Changes to the preliminary draft Major Development Plan, arising from written comments received during the 60 day public comment period (20 April 2015 to 13 July 2015) have been incorporated into the final Major Development Plan.

The final ILS Major Development Plan can be downloaded free of charge from this web site for a period of 180 days. Copies can be viewed in the City of Gold Coast and Tweed Shire libraries.

Printed copies can also be viewed and are available for purchase for $25 (including GST and postage) from the:

Gold Coast Airport Management Centre
Level 1 Airport Central Building
1 Eastern Ave Bilinga Qld 4225

Click the button to download the complete Major Development Plan (15mb) or use the links below to download individual sections.

1. Introduction
2. The Development
3. Regulatory Framework
4. Economic and Regional Significance
5. Environmental Assessment
6. Noise Exposure
7. Consultation
8. Appendix A
9. Appendix B

Important Downloads


JWS Research Survey Results

FAQs

Ministerial approval letter

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FAQs

What is an Instrument Landing System?

An Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a well-established technology that improves an aircraft’s ability to land during adverse weather conditions, rather than being diverted to other airports. ILS is the international industry standard for aeroplane landings in adverse weather conditions.

Physically, an ILS consists of two antennas which transmit signals to receivers in the aircraft cockpit—a glide path tower located next to the runway at the northern end and a localiser antenna at the southern end. These antennas provide the pilot with vertical and horizontal guidance when landing in low visibility.

Why do we need an ILS at Gold Coast Airport?

Gold Coast Airport is the 6th most visited airport in Australia but the only airport in the top twelve most visited that does not have an ILS.

An average of 50 flights, or 10,000 passengers a year, are diverted from Gold Coast Airport to alternative destinations due to adverse weather.

Diversions cost airlines an estimated $50,000 per flight, a cost that ultimately is passed on to consumers through increased fares or reduced flight schedules.

An ILS will provide Gold Coast Airport with the same technology that is already installed in Australia’s other leading airports – boosting reliability, reducing associated disruptions to passengers’ journeys, and helping to make the Gold Coast a more appealing and reliable tourism and business destination.

How will the ILS improve flight reliability?

In any weather conditions, pilots must be able to see the runway before landing. The ILS at Gold Coast Airport will reduce the decision altitude or height at which a pilot must make the decision to continue with the landing with the runway in sight, or to go-around or divert because the runway is obscured.

An ILS enables airlines and airports to continue operations in adverse weather and low visibility conditions, and increases the reliability of landing at the airport. However, an ILS will not guarantee a landing in all weather—the decision to land in poor weather is ultimately up to the pilot-in-command.

How are aircraft currently landing at Gold Coast Airport?

Currently aircraft use a combination of standard approaches and satellite assisted technologies to land. These technologies have a higher decision altitude at which a pilot must make the decision to continue with landing when compared to ILS. An ILS will improve the predictability of landing at the airport in adverse weather conditions as opposed to other technologies.

We are constantly reviewing technologies to improve reliable and safe operation of Gold Coast Airport and will consider any well-established, industry standard technology. Newer technologies, such as GBAS, are some years away from being widely used throughout the world as currently only a small percentage of aircraft/pilots are capable of flying a GBAS approach. Currently, Sydney Airport is the only Australian airport with GBAS.

Will there be a new flight path?

The ILS needs a new flight path extending north for about 18 kilometres in a straight line from the northern end of the main runway. This will give aircraft enough opportunity to ‘line up’ to the runway and ‘lock in’ with the ILS to receive guidance to the runway.

At the starting point of the ILS approach flight path, aircraft will be more than 750 metres high or 2,500 feet above ground level. Aircraft will generally perform a smooth, constant descent to the runway once established in a straight line with the runway.

The new ILS flight path will have a varying effect on Gold Coast suburbs to the north of the airport. Further details are available within the Final Major Development Plan (MDP) currently available on the Gold Coast Airport website. Aircraft departing the airport will not use the ILS.

How often will the ILS and new flight path be used?

At present, there are on average 55 flights a day arriving at Gold Coast Airport, of which five can be expected to use the ILS as assumed in the environment assessment of 10% usage. Of these five flights, three arrive from northern international airports and will be required to use the ILS, regardless of weather conditions, due to specific Australian flight regulations for international aircraft.

All other flights would generally not use the ILS except in adverse weather. There are significant reasons why a pilot approaching from the south would not use the ILS under normal weather conditions.

Using the ILS requires aircraft to travel an additional distance which adds significant costs in extra fuel for the airline.

Furthermore, using the ILS under normal weather conditions would typically see flight times increased, negatively impacting the airline’s ability to keep to flight schedules.

What approvals were required?

The approved ILS project is considered to be a ‘major airport development’ as defined in Section 89 of the Airports Act 1996.
As such, this required a Major Development Plan (MDP) because of potential environmental significance and the likely impact on the local or regional community. Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd prepared a preliminary draft MDP for installation of the ILS, and collected community feedback on the proposal. Feedback then informed the development of the draft MDP to be considered by the Minister for approval.

The formal regulatory approvals for the flight path and associated noise impact were dependent on the MDP being approved. This followed an additional regulatory process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act and the Air Services Act. The potential ground impacts associated with the project were referred to the Federal Department of the Environment under section 68 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Department determined that the works were not a controlled action as they were unlikely to significantly impact upon matters of national environmental significance or have a significant impact upon the environment as a whole. The Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP approved the draft Major Development Plan 19 January 2016.

When will the ILS be installed?

Construction for the installation of the ILS is expected to commence by mid-2016.

What are the environmental impacts?

The MDP contains an environmental assessment for the project, which included consideration of potential impacts to land, surface water, groundwater, habitat values, significant species, and cultural heritage.

The project requires vegetation clearing on airport land and also on NSW State land to the south of the airport. The project also requires minor earthworks and realignment of existing drainage lines, with potential impacts to soils, surface water, and groundwater.

Appropriate mitigation measures will be adopted during the construction and operation of the project to manage the identified impacts.

The project was referred by Airservices Australia to the Federal Department or the Environment under section 68 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Department determined that the works were not a controlled action as they were unlikely to significantly impact upon matters of national environmental significance or have a significant impact upon the environment as a whole.

Airservices and Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd will, however, implement a range of controls to mitigate the impact of the proposed ground works as detailed in the MDP and EPBC referral.

Controls will be focused on management of dust, erosion and sedimentation; management of acid sulphate soils; management of contaminated land, surface and ground water; vegetation management; significant species management; cultural heritage; air quality; light; noise; and hazardous materials.

How will environmental impacts be mitigated?

The MDP contains an environmental assessment for the project, which included consideration of potential impacts to land, surface water, groundwater, habitat values, significant species, and cultural heritage.

Key mitigation measures for the project will be incorporated into construction and/or operational plans, and will focus on such things as resource use; management of dust, erosion and sedimentation; management of acid sulphate soils; management of contaminated land, surface and ground water; vegetation management; significant species management; cultural heritage; air quality; light; noise; and hazardous materials.