Nov 29, 2010

Parliament approves major reforms to airport planning

Parliament approves major reforms to airport planning

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 29 2010

The National Parliament has today approved major reforms which will empower local communities and improve transparency around the long term development plans at the nation’s major airports.

These reforms continue the implementation of the Gillard Labor Government’s Aviation White Paper and complement our major cities agenda by providing national leadership when it comes to planning the future of our major airports.

The reforms contained in the Airports Amendment Bill 2010 recognise that airports exist primarily for aviation purposes, there to serve the national economy and the flying public.

The key changes introduced:

  • Strengthen the requirements for airport Master Plans and Major Development Plans to undertake community consultation;
  • Better align airport development and planning with State, Territory and local planning;
  • Require Master Plans to outline ground transport linkages and information on proposed non-aeronautical development, including the impact on jobs;
  • Increase the triggers requiring airports to lodge Major Development Plans to include developments that are likely to have a significant community impact;
  • Require public consultation on runway alterations that significantly change flight paths or aircraft noise arrangements through a Major Development Plan process;
  • Prohibit certain types of non-aviation developments, such as residential, aged or community care facilities, hospitals and schools unless there are exceptional circumstances; and
  • Integrate airports’ environmental plan into their Master Plan to give comprehensive information to the public through a unified consultation period.

We are serious about giving greater voice to local communities over airport planning and better integrating those plans with local and state planning laws.

As part of our commitment to engage with the community and the aviation industry, the Government carefully examined the relevant Senate Committee’s report and made important amendments to the Bill.