By Margaret Maccoll
Residents were called to action last weekend when Flight Path Forum urged them to make their voices heard to Airservices Australia (ASA) by Sunday 1 November in order to gain a better outcome on flight paths over their homes.
Each of the four forums held last Saturday by Flight Path Forum to update residents on the status of ASA’s flight path review were fully booked, showing the level of public concern on the issue.
Flight Path Forum spokeswoman Vivien Griffin told attendees there was no time to be lulled into complacency.
Ms Griffin recounted the outcry from the public over the inadequate public consultation conducted by ASA that led to a report prepared by the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman, released in June 2020, that slammed their conduct and recommended a genuine consultation take place.
“Powerful recommendations have flowed from the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman’s June 2020 report, achieved through thousands of community submissions in 2019, and as a result we have a real opportunity to have flight paths reviewed, determining our future,” she said.
“Flight Path Forum has grown to be an alliance of genuine significance, with a broad based membership from across the Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Shire areas, however, as our knowledge has grown, so has our frustration with Airservices’ Australia, and we are on the cusp of witnessing yet another repeat of the decades of failed flight path change and community consultation practices by Airservices, which is totally unacceptable to the Sunshine Coast community.
“It’s time to do the job properly. The community needs to again make their voices heard by commenting on Airservices’ draft Post-Implementation Review Terms of Reference, to bring about meaningful, empowering community consultation.”
Ms Griffin also urged residents to help them build a base of evidence needed to support their case by monitoring flights overhead.
She said according to the environmental impact study aircraft only present a significant noise impact below 5000 ft but using the app Flight Radar 24 residents could log the time and height of flights above their homes.
At the meeting residents from hinterland areas including Doonan, Verrierdale and Lake Weyba reported disturbances from planes flying 2500-3000 ft above their properties.
Ms Griffin said Flight Path Forum had engaged a CASA accredited flight path designer to undertake an independent flight path study in order to obtain the best outcome for the community.
The community has until Sunday 1 November to comment on Airservices Australia‘s draft Terms of Reference and to assist Flight Path Forum has compiled some submission points which can be accessed on their website.
Residents have also been asked to contribute to the $20,000 costs of engaging the flight path designer to which Noosa Council has contributed $5000.
“Our communities are used to fighting for our environment and our lifestyles, and if we stand united we can achieve a better outcome,” Ms Griffin said.To donate, for submission points and more information visit www.flightpathforum.org.au