Feb 28, 2011

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman reform delivers results

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman reform delivers results

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 28 2011

The Gillard Labor Government has welcomed the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman’s recommendations of improved and more responsive ways of addressing complaints about noise.

Airservices Australia has said it will adopt all 18 recommendations.

The new ombudsman, Ron Brent, was appointed last September and has looked closely at the way Airservices Australia receives, handles and responds to complaints about aircraft noise.

I take the issue of aircraft noise seriously – affected residents have the right to have their complaints followed up.

Among the recommendations are that:

  • Airservices Australia should amend its procedures to better support complaints for which there is a remedy
  • more targeted information to help resolve complaints
  • clearer information about what is and is not possible
  • better processes for capturing, recording and tracking through to implementation noise improvement opportunities.

The Gillard Labor Government is the first in Australian history to appoint an ombudsman with the specific role of managing aircraft noise.

Our other practical reforms to address aircraft noise include:

  • establishing the ‘Webtrak’ tracking system to allow communities to see and hear in ‘real time’ the exact location of inbound and outbound flights as well as the noise they emit
  • banning older, noisy aircraft, such as hush-kitted Boeing 727s from Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide airports
  • maintaining the night time curfew and hourly movement cap at Sydney Airport
  • requiring airports to consult with local residents on developments that are major, or have a significant community impact
  • requiring airports to establish Community Aviation Consultation groups to make sure communities are properly engaged on an ongoing basis.

Nearly five million Australians live within a 10-kilometre radius of our major airports – these residents deserve to be heard.