Any community located close to an airport is particularly sensitive to late night flying into and out of the airport. The residents of Mudjimba are no exception, but they do understand the need for the emergency service helicopters and the occasional medivac flights, to fly out to emergencies at all hours of the night. We accept that commitment and value the service of those involved. However, after hours flights for convenience are unacceptable.
The Noise Abatement Procedure clearly states that flights by aircraft greater than 5700kg are restricted between 23:00hrs and 05:30hrs unless prior approval is granted by the administrator of the Sunshine Coast Airport (SCA). We understand that in emergency situations this approval must be granted. However, it is difficult for this community to understand why we are currently experiencing flights at 2am and 3am in the morning.
The Noise Abatement Procedure preferences the use of the southern end of the runway, to land and take-off over Mudjimba. So after Air Traffic Control has closed down for the day, pilots are at liberty to decide which runway to use. Unfortunately for Mudjimba they are choosing the preference stated in the NAP, to land and take-off over Mudjimba.
This preference to use the southern end defies logic as there is no populated area at the northern end of the runway and it would seem more logical for these late night flights, if they must occur, to approach and depart the runway to the north.
Sleep deprivation is a significant health issue and our community needs to be assured that their welfare and health is not being compromised for commercial interests. We believe an objectives review of the NAP, its preferential runway, and its administration, is urgently required to ensure the unnecessary movement of aircraft over our homes late at night.
The proposed Practice Interim Review (PIR) to be undertaken by the ASA in consultation with the community may be the opportunity to strengthen the NAP in the context of this review of the flightpath design. The MRA urge the SCA to support our proposals for improvements to the NAP that will enhance the protection it should provide for the residents in Mudjimba.