The issue has dominated community politics in the region for years but has ramped up since the opening of the airport’s new runway in June.
Residents have taken to social media complaining of everything from extra late-night flights caused by the Melbourne Storm’s relocation to the Sunshine Coast to recent Qantas joyflights going low over Noosa for sightseeing passengers.
Community lobby group Flight Path Forum has launched an aggressive campaign to convince residents to make a submission on the review’s draft terms of reference, which it argues are inadequate.
“Who heard the Qantas Dreamliner 787-9 joy flight yesterday? For newly overflown communities on the Sunshine Coast it simply added insult to injury,” said one post on the group’s Facebook page.
Following hundreds of complaints about Sunshine Coast aircraft noise last year, the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman has urged the agency responsible for deciding on flight paths, Airservices Australia, to consider alternative flight approaches to the airport in a routine review of the airport’s operations.
The Ombudsman said Airservices Australia should “use its post-implementation review process to re-engage with communities and consider community-suggested alternatives to the implemented flight paths”.
Flight Path Forum insists the agency failed to properly engage the community when it was considering flight paths for the airport.
Noosa Shire Council has helped the group fund a study into alternative flight paths and will also make a submission to Airservices Australia “to ensure that the process is fair, robust and allows genuine opportunities for the community to influence the outcome of the post-implementation review”.
Sunshine Coast Airport is owned and operated by neighbouring Sunshine Coast Council but most of the complaints about aircraft noise have come from residents of Noosa Shire, particularly upmarket locations such as Marcus Beach and Peregian.
Complaints have not eased despite the COVID-19 pandemic severely affecting the frequency of flights into and out of the Sunshine Coast.
The airport normally handles about 1.3 million passengers a year, with the new runway set to spark a dramatic expansion of its operations in future years.Jump to next article