There is no evidence of a comprehensive, comparative safety assessment of alternative flight paths by Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) and consultants; either before or after the emergence of the safety issue in 2013.

Who is benefitting from the rejection of the alternative flight path options? Why should they benefit when community safety is paramount?

Air Services Australia (ASA)’s reasons for dismissing other flight path alternatives have been ill-defined. ASA have relied on information presented by SCC, who chose to dismiss the alternative route for spurious reasons that had nothing at all to do with safety.

Further, ASA’s decision to limit the scope of its 2019 assessment to only the EIS concepts presented in 2012 has compounded the failure to identify that there was a safety issue inherent in the proposed flight paths, as identified in 2013. This has resulted in a failure to adequately acquit the obligation to properly assess the merits of all safer alternatives.

SCC had a vested interest in the development of areas south of the airport and elected not to advise ASA of essential and relevant information. It is incomprehensible that issues which could affect aircraft and public safety were not shared.

In 2013, SCC should have taken the appropriately responsible action to reconsider their flight path concepts to avoid the inherent risks created by the direct overflight of an approved quarry.

Instead, SCC chose to ignore the safety risks and not to consider alternative flight paths. They continue to refuse to do so. Why?

Alternatives should never have been the subject of cursory rejections without proper comparative evaluation, particularly given the inherent safety risk appears peculiar only to the selected option.

These issues indicate an urgent need for a comprehensive and transparent reevaluation of alternative flight paths and a redesign of the airspace in order to accommodate safer flight path routes.

Credit: Peregian Beach Community Association