Gold Coast Airport has a curfew in operation from 11pm to 6am daily under the Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018.
The following aircraft are permitted to operate during the curfew:
- Jet aircraft that have a maximum take off weight of up to 34,000kg and comply with both Chapter 3 and the 90–95 noise level rule.
- Propeller-driven aircraft that have a maximum take off weight of up to 34,000kg.
- Any aircraft that received taxi clearance by Air Traffic Control (ATC), or started taxiing for take off when ATC is not available, before a curfew period starts.
- An aircraft involved in an emergency, or a flight interrupted by an emergency. Emergency includes aircraft being used for search and rescue, medical or natural disaster, security or safety, insufficient fuel or in-flight emergency.
- Aircraft using Gold Coast Airport as an alternate airport.
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.
These quota movements are able to be applied for by domestic passenger jet operators or international passenger jet operators (under 100,000kgs and comply with Chapter 4 or 14 noise levels of the Annex). Applicants may apply in writing to the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (the Department) (or delegate) for a permit under Air Navigation (Gold Coast Airport Curfew) Regulations 2018 (Curfew Regulations), 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 actual movement within seven days of it occurring.
A freight jet operator must apply in writing to the Secretary of the Department (or delegate) for a permit under the Curfew Regulations, to use one (or more) of the four movements permitted in this category each week.
An operator (of passenger or freight) aircraft may apply to the Secretary of the Department (or delegate) for a dispensation from the curfew in exceptional circumstances. Dispensation are issued in accordance with guidelines which define what are exceptional circumstances.
- A dispensation must be only for one movement (landing or take off, but not both). Multiple dispensations cannot be granted in the one permit.
Gold Coast Airport's role as an alternate for Brisbane Airport allows for the possibility of aircraft being diverted to Gold Coast Airport. The rules for using Gold Coast Airport during the curfew period are different for international and domestic flights:
- 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.
The Curfew Regulations provide for fines up to $52,500 for a body corporate.