The Sunshine Coast Airport Master Plan submissions close on Friday the 9th August 2019. We hope you managed to attend one of the information sessions hosted by Sunshine Coast Airport and FPF encourage you to make a submission should there be aspects you feel should be changed.
Remember, while the airport is operated by Palisade via Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd, it is owned by the council and as such is a community asset. This asset is being funded by loans which the council have to repay. Resident rates contribute to debts owed by Sunshine Coast Regional Council, so please have your say.
FPF have read through the SCA Master Plan 2040 and raise the following issues:
1. Lack of detailed analysis and assessment.
The SCA Master Plan document lacks evidence to support many claims made regarding the economic, employment, freight and destination benefits.
The plan fails to address how the construction of the proposed new precincts will impact upon the environment’s vegetation and fauna movements, and does not appear to have adequately researched the effects the proposed precincts will have on flooding to surrounding communities.
2. Closure of existing Runway 18/36
Safety has been cited as the reason to close the existing runway. The OLS issue with location of parked Code E (Boeing A330 type aircraft) and the mandatory distances required for taxiways and runways is an issue that should have been identified when decisions were being made to relocate the position of Runway 13/31. It has been stated that moving the apron where these larger aircraft can park to the northern section of the terminal would impede the new runway making it inoperable, yet no detailed plans have been supplied to the public to substantiate this claim.
Previous discussions with Airport management have indicated that there is no demand for Code E aircraft scheduled to use the airport in the near to mid-term future. Why is it necessary to decommission the existing runway at the outset when the aircraft that would create the safety issue isn’t going to utilise the airport in the near future?
Decommissioning Runway 18/36 removes flexibility for use of two runways to accommodate various weather conditions and situations such as a crash or breakdown that may result in temporary closure of Runway 13/31. Only having one runway also results in all fixed wing air traffic movements to fly over residential areas close to the ends of the runway 13/31, thereby increasing their noise impacts. This increased impact has not been taken into account in the EIS as 10% of General Aviation movements were to utilise Runway 18/36.
As we have seen in the past PFAS has been an issue at the airport site. No mention or planning for potential PFAS contamination during the removal of Runway 18/36 has been made. How will nearby residents be protected from any potential PFAS issues that may arise with the removal of the existing runway?
3. Land Development
The development of the northern precinct named the ‘Freight Precinct’ seems to be designed as a desired property development, securing additional profits for SCA rather than a legitimate need for a freight centre.
No detailed information has qualified the need for a freight centre. Specifics on volume of freight and types of freight is vague. The Master Plan is aiming to increase flights to a total of eight direct destinations by 2040. Such a limited number of destinations is unlikely to result in a large number of freight movements being considered for Sunshine Coast Airport when Brisbane Airport is nearby which services many more national and international destinations.
The positioning of this precinct with the purpose of freight is problematic due to the road access being placed on David Low Way and the logistics of moving freight from this precinct across a live runway to be loaded into parked aircraft would create a safety issue for users at the airport. To avoid crossing a live runway freight operations would be better suited to western precincts.
In addition to freight this precinct’s usage has been suggested to include retail and short term accommodation, which would result in direct competition to surrounding retailers, motels and hotels. The Master Plan also states that the northern precinct would not be limited to the proposed usages listed in the document, which provides uncertainty to the community about what the actual usage and development will eventually be.
4. Flood issues
The site has proven to have issues with management of water on the site. The relocation of Runway 13/31 resulted in increased flooding impacts on the surrounding communities than was assessed in the EIS. The EIS did not take into account the extensive development of the site and the Master Plan 2040 document does not address how it will manage run-off or flood mitigation, nor how it will integrate with existing drainage systems.
5. Access roads
The proposed access road to the northern freight precinct will adjoin David Low Way. Trucks and heavy vehicles would be expected to be utilised for freight and would require to use David Low Way. There are no details on how this will impact traffic or emissions for the nearby communities and again this has not been taken into account during the EIS.
6. Employment opportunities
The Master Plan 2040 has not upgraded infrastructure to the Aerospace Precinct which is where the General Aviation businesses operate. Aviation Businesses were highlighted by Sunshine Coast Council as one of the seven high-value industries of the region. This is because the aviation industry provides high value, high paid jobs, which encourages the 18-36 year old demographic to remain on the Sunshine Coast rather than relocate to other areas for these types of jobs.
Increased employment figures have been cited throughout the Master Plan document, however there is no breakdown of percentages per industry. With the proposed redevelopment usage of the northern precinct, it would appear that the majority of these would be retail and hospitality jobs along with temporary construction jobs, rather than the long-term, high value aviation jobs.
Additional development is proposed for the Western Precinct but again hasn’t detailed how it would address flooding, the amount of remnant vegetation that would be removed, the impact on fauna movement between sections of Mt Coolum National Park by bisecting the wildlife corridor, nor how SCA will secure the national park land required to build this precinct.
Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd are the entity that could implement a curfew. So this is also an opportunity to ask for a curfew. The EIS stated no flights would occur between the hours of 10pm and 7am until 2040. Currently approx 45 flights occur in this time period every month. ASA and SCA amended the time period to 11pm to 6am to mitigate that anomaly and make their scheduled flights fit within various time periods.
Overall, the Master Plan is a vision that lacks in depth assessments of impacts and does not provide detailed analysis of claims of benefit or support projected levels of activities. It appears to be a document that supports development over the aviation industry.
Until these assessments and details are provided, the Master Plan shouldn’t include development outlines for the Northern and Western precincts.
Actions to take
- Read the Master Plan. Don’t be daunted by the number of pages, many are aesthetic rather than informational.
- Make your submission via the online form where you can upload a file with your submission.
- Send a copy of your submission to:
Sandy Bolton, Member for Noosa
28 Eenie Creek Road, Noosaville QLD 4566
Dan Purdie, Member for Ninderry
11 Heathfield Road, Coolum Beach QLD 4573
Hon Cameron Dick, Member for Woodridge
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
1 William Street, Brisbane Qld 4000
The Hon Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Environment
GPO Box 5078, Brisbane Qld 4001
Senator Susan McDonald, Chair of Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
Level 1, 131 Denham Street, Townsville Qld 4810
Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens (Particularly if you have environmental concerns)
Level 1, 251 Given Terrace, Paddington Qld 4064