Gold Coast Airport (GCA) has commenced works on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) installation on behalf of Airservices Australia.
GCA Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said this was an historic milestone for the airport and for the city alike.
“The ILS is an important piece of infrastructure which will improve airport reliability and in turn ensure the region is well positioned as a competitive tourism destination,” said Ms Charlton.
“This is a project that has been over nine years in the making for our team, so we are thrilled to have recently officially commenced works on the ILS installation.
“We will work closely with Airservices Australia over the next 12 to 15 months to install the ILS.
“Unfortunately the ILS will not be installed and operational in time for the Commonwealth Games following a protracted delay to construction commencement due to the highly-publicised application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
“Construction of the ILS is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, with the ILS anticipated to be fully operational by 2019,” Ms Charlton said.
Ms Charlton also noted that draft Noise Abatement Procedures (NAPs) have been developed to ensure ILS usage during fine weather conditions would be kept to a minimum.
“The development of NAPs was required for the ILS flight path and formed part of the Minister’s approval last year, and the draft procedures will be finalised in consultation with the community.
“These procedures are designed specifically to ensure impact to the community in terms of aircraft noise is kept to a minimum,” Ms Charlton said.
The noise abatement procedures will ensure the use of the ILS by jet aircraft is limited to times of increased cloud coverage or reduced visibility except where operationally required or required for an emergency.
The ILS project was subject to a Major Development Plan under the Airports Act covering components of the project on Commonwealth airport land and referral under the EPBC Act covering the whole of the project footprint, including both NSW and Commonwealth parcels of land on which the project is situated.
Approval of the MDP and decision by the Department of the Environment and Energy was on the basis that that the ILS project is not a controlled action in that it doesn’t have a significant impact on the environment. The approvals considered both the level of environmental impact and the proposed mitigation measures which have been included in the construction environmental management plans (CEMPs) issued to the contractor for implementation.
The ILS was approved by the then Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development the Hon Warren Truss in January 2016. An Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) process commenced after this period when a local protest group appealed the decision to approve the installation. The AAT decision to uphold the Minister’s approval was received in March 2017 and was welcomed by the airport and the broader Gold Coast community.