Frequently Asked Questions

We have prepared a series of frequently asked questions to help our community better understand flight path changes and what the new runway means for them.

Why have the flight paths at Sunshine Coast Airport changed?

The new runway is oriented differently to the former runway — it is longer and wider to accommodate wide-body aircraft. This means changes to flight paths are necessary to achieve safe and efficient operations for the Airport and the community. 

How were the flight paths determined?

The new flights paths were developed by Airservices Australia and validated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), based on design concepts developed by Sunshine Coast Council. 

As Australia’s air navigation service provider, Airservices is responsible for airspace management and the design of flight paths. 

The airspace change and flight paths for the new runway are in alignment with the approved Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and take into account safety, efficiency, regulatory and environmental constraints. 

How were the flight paths approved?

CASA’s Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) is responsible for approving changes to airspace. 

On  October 2019, CASA OAR provided Airservices Australia with approval for changes to airspace volumes to support operations for the new runway. 

Changes to flights paths were assessed on safety, protection of the environment, efficient use of airspace, equitable access, national security, current and future needs of the Australian aviation industry, and advances in technology. 
To read more about the approval process for Sunshine Coast Airport, visit Airservices’ website. 

What benefits will the new runway bring?

The new runway will significantly enhance the capacity of Sunshine Coast Airport, opening new doors for passenger travel, local exports and the promotion of local tourism growth.  

The new runway is safer, provides greater capacity, and will have a higher usability than the existing runway. It caters for all current aviation users of the Airport and accommodates wide-body passenger aircraft, enabling capacity for long-haul flights to reach new domestic and international destinations. 

Accommodating wide-body aircraft also means we can better support agribusiness by providing improved air freight capacity for local producers to export their goods to more markets. High-value, low-volume exports will dispatch from the Airport as freight in the belly of existing passenger aircraft. 

We’re committed to working hard to make sure we can support the economic aspirations of the region while being sensitive to the needs of our community. 

What changes can we expect?

The change in flight path means far fewer people will experience aircraft noise compared to what is currently experienced by households in the Sunshine Coast region. A change in the runway’s orientationhoweverhas meant changes for some people in our community.  

New flight paths at Sunshine Coast Airport have been designed to optimally align with prevailing wind conditions when taking off and landing on the new runway. 

All aircraft will now use the new runway, arriving over land from the north-west and departing over the ocean to the south-east. 

These means residents in communities including Doonan, Cooroy and Verrierdale may be exposed to some aircraft noise as a result of the new runway. 

How is noise managed at Sunshine Coast Airport?

We remain committed to working collaboratively with government, industry and the community to manage aircraft noise. We have a number of measures in place to help us balance both community and operational needs to ensure the Airport’s growth is appropriate and sensitive to our community. 

Our Fly Neighbourly Policy aims to limit general aviation activity between the hours of 10.00pm and 7.00am. 

We also have mandatory noise abatement procedures for large commercial passenger plans, meaning airlines must receive Airport approval to take-off or land between the hours of 11.00pm and 5.30pm. Permission is only granted a few times each year due to poor weather, engineering issues or other unplanned factors. 

When the new runway is in use, what will I hear?

Aircraft noise is influenced by a number of different factors and the level of noise you hear from an aircraft during take off, landing and during flight can vary. 

Learn more about aircraft noise here. 

When the new runway is in use, what will I see?

 

Runway 13

West communities (Cooroy, Eumundi, Doonan, Weyba, Yandina Creek)

North west communities (Cooroy, Federal, Traveston)

Inner north communities (Doonan, Noosa, Castaways Beach, Peregian Beach)

North east communities (Tinbeerwah, Tewantin, Noosa, Sunshine Beach)

Inner south communities (Marcoola, Bli Bli, Mooloolaba, Buddina)

South communities (Warana, Moffat Beach, Caloundra)

 

Runway 31 

West communities (Cooroy, Eumundi, Doonan, Weyba, Yandina Creek)

North west communities (Cooroy, Federal, Traveston)

Inner north communities (Doonan, Noosa, Castaways Beach, Peregian Beach)

North east communities (Tinbeerwah, Tewantin, Noosa, Sunshine Beach)

Inner south communities (Marcoola, Bli Bli, Mooloolaba, Buddina)

South communities (Warana, Moffat Beach, Caloundra)

 

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