The federal government will not allow a curfew to be imposed on Brisbane Airport.
“A curfew at Brisbane Airport would have had an ongoing impact on the Brisbane economy, not to mention the tourism industry,” Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss told a tourism and transport forum in Canberra on Wednesday.
“At the same time it would have done very little to mitigate the aircraft noise impact, particularly during peak periods, on Brisbane residents.”
Mr Truss, who is the deputy prime minister, said the capacity at Brisbane Airport, the nation’s third busiest, needed to be improved as it handled growing air traffic numbers.
An additional runway at Brisbane Airport is “some time” away from being operational and in the interim, all efforts should be made to maximise capacity.
Mr Truss said the nearest house was more than six kilometres from the runway, double the buffer at Melbourne Airport where there was no curfew.
Aircraft using Brisbane Airport should take advantage of its coastal position, flying over water whenever possible, he said.
“Brisbane has that advantage that there is no population on one end of the runway and therefore that is where the maximum noise should be concentrated,” he said.
“The government is not predisposed towards implementing additional regulatory burdens on industry,” Mr Truss said of his decision.
The Tourism and Transport Forum said a 24-hour airport would give Brisbane a competitive advantage.
“This decision removes the uncertainty the lengthy review created in the air transport and tourism industries,” chief executive Ken Morrison said in a statement.
Brisbane Airport Corporation managing director Julieanne Alroe said it took noise mitigation very seriously.
“It is a very high priority and we will continue to lead the country in working with airlines, AirServices Australia and the community to find new ways to manage noise impacts,” she said.