- The Gold Coast Airport curfew was put in place to minimise the impact of aircraft noise on nearby residents. A limited number of aircraft types are allowed to operate during the curfew, including emergency service aircraft, and any aircraft that need to land for safety reasons.
- The rules for the curfew at Gold Coast Airport are laid down in the Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018.
- Aircraft take-offs and landings are restricted at Gold Coast Airport between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am (local time)
- Aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of more than 34,000 kilograms cannot take-off from or land at Gold Coast Airport during the curfew, unless the aircraft is involved in an emergency.
- An aircraft should not depart from its origin port unless the estimated time of arrival will be before 11.00 pm Gold Coast local time. Where the estimated time of arrival will be at or after 11.00 pm a dispensation should be sought before departure.
- An aircraft that arrives at Gold Coast Airport before 6.00 am must hold until after the curfew ends, or divert to an alternative airport.
Exceptions to the Curfew
The following aircraft are permitted to operate during the curfew:
- Jet aircraft which have a noise certificate and comply with noise standards specified in Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018 that have a maximum take-off weight of up to 34,000kg.
- Propeller-driven aircraft with a noise certificate that have a maximum take-off weight of up to 34,000kg.
- Any aircraft that received taxi clearance by Air Traffic Control, or started taxiing for take-off when ATC is not available, before the curfew period starts.
- An aircraft involved in an emergency, or interrupted by an emergency. An emergency includes aircraft being used for or in connection with search and rescue, medical emergency or natural disaster, security or safety incident, insufficient fuel or in-flight emergency.
- An aircraft diverted to Gold Coast Airport
- If an international air service is diverted to Gold Coast Airport, it may land and take-off during a Curfew Period;
- If a domestic air service is diverted to Gold Coast Airport, it may land (but not take-off) during a Curfew Period.
- An aircraft operating under a dispensation granted by the Minister or the department in exceptional circumstances.
- In determining whether exceptional circumstances exist which may support the granting of a dispensation, the department will generally have regard to the principles set out in the Sydney Airport Curfew (Dispensation) Guideline 2016.
- A quota system operates for certain specified movements during the curfew period:
- 24 movements (with restrictions) by passenger jets each year; and
- 4 jet freight movements (maximum) each week.
- Passenger quota movements are able to be applied for by domestic passenger jet operators or international passenger jet operators (for aircraft under 100,000kgs and which comply with Chapter 4 or 14 noise levels of Volume I of Annex 16 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation).
Passenger quota movements
- Applications may be made in writing to the Secretary of the department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the department) for a permit under Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018, to use one (or more) of the 24 movements permitted in this category each year.
- The approval is granted in writing, and must nominate the year in which it can be used. Total movements are capped at 24 per year, which can result in previous approvals being revoked if newer approvals exceed the 24 annual movement cap.
- The operator must report to the Secretary details of an aircraft movement undertaken in reliance on the quota within seven days of it occurring.
Freight quota movements
- A freight jet operator must apply in writing to the Secretary of the department for a permit under the Curfew Regulations, to use one (or more) of the four movements permitted in this category each week.
The Curfew Regulations provide for fines up to $55,500 for a body corporate for a breach of the curfew. See Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018.