Guidelines for the granting of dispensations at Gold Coast Airport

Overview

Gold Coast Airport has a curfew in place under the Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018 that applies to aircraft operations between 11.00pm and 6.00am (local time). In exceptional circumstances, aircraft operators may apply for a dispensation from the department to take-off or land at Gold Coast Airport during the curfew period.

In determining whether a dispensation should be granted, the department will generally have regard to the principles set out in the Sydney Airport Curfew (Dispensation) Guideline 2016.

Primary Criteria

Circumstances will generally only be considered exceptional so as to justify a take-off or landing within the curfew period if:

  1. they originated during, or during preparation for, the take-off of a flight scheduled to fly directly to, or to depart from, Gold Coast Airport; and
  2. they involve a delay caused by:
    1. unforeseen mechanical failure of the aircraft in relation to which the dispensation has been requested; or
    2. the offloading of baggage from the aircraft in relation to which the dispensation has been requested, which was required due to passengers failing to board; or
    3. the re-screening (for aviation security purposes) of passengers and/or baggage of the aircraft in relation to which the dispensation has been requested; or
    4. the circumstances are otherwise of such a character that they could not reasonably have been foreseen by the operator; and
  3. the operator has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Minister that it has made every reasonable effort to avoid the need for a dispensation but was unable to make alternative arrangements to the take-off or landing.

Additional factors that will be taken into account in considering requests for curfew dispensations at Gold Coast Airport include:

  • whether a nearby airport is available or reasonable;
  • the reason for the cause of the delay and whether the cause of delay is within the control of the operator or could have been foreseen;
  • by what margin the expected time of movement falls into the curfew period; i.e., is it shortly after 11.00pm or shortly before 6.00am;
  • the number of passengers involved; and

Exceptional circumstances will not generally exist on the basis that:

  • one of the following has caused changes to scheduled flights:

    • adverse weather conditions, where the operator of an aircraft scheduled to fly to Gold Coast Airport knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, prior to take-off, that those conditions were likely to eventuate;
    • adverse weather conditions, where the operator of an aircraft scheduled to depart Gold Coast Airport knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, within a reasonable period prior to take-off, that those conditions were likely to eventuate;
    • industrial disputes, other than circumstances involving a protracted industrial dispute which causes long-term severe disruption to an operator's aviation services which, in turn, causes the delay or cancellation of flights;
    • disruptions to an operator's network or schedules due to mechanical problems, other than an unforeseen mechanical failure of the aircraft for which a dispensation has been requested; or
  • the dispensation would allow the accommodation of airline management requirements (such as a need to reposition or crew aircraft

Noise Abatement Procedures

During the curfew, aircraft should operate in accordance with the Noise Abatement Procedures set out in the Gold Coast section of Airservices Australia's publication AIP—Departure and Approach Procedures.

Administrative Arrangements

Requests for curfew dispensations at Gold Coast Airport should be made to the department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts by telephone at 0466 548 063 or via email at chapter2@infrastructure.gov.au. All calls to this number, also used for Sydney, Adelaide and Essendon Fields airport curfew dispensation requests, are received by an answering service and diverted to a duty officer of the department responsible for handling dispensation requests.

The duty officer will contact the person seeking the dispensation, make a decision on the request and advise the aircraft operator of the decision. If appropriate, the duty officer will also advise Airservices Australia of the dispensation request and decision at the earliest practicable time.

The Regulations do not require a dispensation be granted in writing, however, a written record of the dispensation request, together with the reasons for refusing or granting it, will be made and tabled in Parliament.