new flight path over the most populated Gold Coast suburbs
Gold Coast Airport submitted a Major Development Plan to install an Instrument Landing System (ILS) in 2015. It has resulted in a new flight path over 200,000 residents and tourist areas, comprising the iconic beaches and most densely populated suburbs of the Gold Coast, where no flight path previously existed.
Previously, incoming air traffic flew a curved approach (RNP and visual) over the ocean and crossed land at Currumbin, some 4km from the Airport. Following is some information about the change and why the Airport wanted it.
This map from Airservices Australia's Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment of Gold Coast Airport's proposed ILS on page 12, shows the affected areas.
Residents in this area, from Palm Beach to Surfers Paradise, previously experienced a low level of aircraft noise. Shown on the map as Region 2, this area has experienced noticeable increases in aircraft noise when the ILS is used as aircraft travel overhead instead of being some distance to the east over the ocean. Forecasts of additional aircraft noise events for Region 2 were of up to 74 dB(A) - similar to the sound you may hear when a truck drives down your street and you are inside your home - however until noise monitoring is conducted we will not have an objective assessment of how bad it is; Residents may perceive the increase in aircraft noise as up to twice as loud in some areas of Region 2. (Source)
The following chart provides some indication of the noise impacts at various points along the flight path, according to forecasts made prior to its commencement.
Airport's Claimed ILS Use
Gold Coast Airport claims the following frequency of use for the ILS flight path.
However Gold Coast Airport and Airservices say: "Usage rates of the ILS at the Gold Coast may be higher than this as shown in experience with other Australian airports after an ILS has been installed”, and in its first month of operation it was used more than 50 times.