…on a very basic evaluation of cost-benefit, the simple impact is that the cost far exceeds the benefit that will flow. To subject 50,000 or 60,000 people to almost daily aircraft noise, just so an extra 10 or 20 aircraft a year are able to land at Gold Coast Airport, simply does not make sense
— Steven Ciobo, Federal Member for Moncrieff

The real reason for the ils

Gold Coast Airport has installed a new flight path over the iconic beaches of the Gold Coast, some 200,000 residents (60,000 of whom from Surfers Paradise to Palm Beach are the most affected), and Australian and overseas tourists, to avoid up to potentially only four planes each year being diverted to Brisbane, which is a one hour bus trip away.

The argument that there is a problem so great that it justifies installing a flight path over the most populous areas of the Gold Coast lacks credibility. What could the real reason be for wanting the ILS?

In the Gold Coast Airport’s Community Aviation Consultation Group Meeting on 4/12/13 which was attended by three people from the Dept of Infrastructure, Justin Wastnage representing the Tourist and Transport Forum stated “With reference to ILS versus RNP, there is a growing shift in tourism numbers from traditional markets to Asian markets and it is worth putting in context that ILS is particularly useful for low cost carriers from Asia as not all airlines are equipped to use RNP. Some countries that we are trying to get tourist services from do not have RNP in their aircraft.” To which Neil Hall, the Gold Coast Airport based representative of Airservices Australia replied “That’s true, RNP is a developing technology…” Read more

Also, according to Airservices Australia, "Gold Coast Airport’s Master Plan forecasts aircraft movement growth of between 4.5 and 5.5% over the next 5 years, and it is anticipated that the proposed ILS may make the airport more attractive to international carriers as the proposed ILS will increase the likelihood of landing in reduced visibility, rather than diverting to another airport which would incur additional costs for the airline." (p.21 Proposed ILS Procedures for Arrivals, Runway 14 Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment)

Runway Extension

Gold Coast Airport has been trying for decades to obtain access to NSW Crown land at the southern end of the airport so that it can extend the runway. Previous attempts have failed because approval for access to the land was required from the NSW Government and it rejected previous applications on environmental grounds. Now the Airport has acquired access via approval of an MDP which was under Commonwealth jurisdiction, and has therefore effectively "gone over the head" of the NSW Government.

By applying for the ILS, it was granted access to NSW Crown land so that a localiser antenna required for the ILS can be erected. This provides access to the land it wants for the runway extension but was previously unable to obtain.

The Airport's workaround for the obstacles it’s faced with the NSW Government has been successful, and now it is able to achieve two major objectives with one MDP; It has the ILS wanted by many budget Asian carriers it’s been trying to attract, and it has access to the NSW Crown land it’s wanted for the runway extension

Increasing the operational length of the existing runway

Our co-defenders at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Tugan Cobaki Alliance Inc., believe the final ILS design confirms there is an additional approximately 150m development footprint on the Reserve than required for the ILS. The additional development footprint (clearing / earthworks) on the Reserve, allows for the increase in the operational length of the runway as detailed in GCA documents, “the southernmost part of the runway itself functions as a de-facto RESA (Runway End Safety Area) , thus reducing the runway’s operational length for takeoffs to the south. The implementation of the RESA on land to the south will improve that operational length”. The additional clearing on the Reserve under the guise of the ILS also facilitates the proposed relocation of the runway 32 landing threshold approx. 300m south.

The additional ILS development footprint on the Reserve facilitating an increase in the operational length of GCA’s runway was not disclosed in the ILS MDP.   Learn more