Coolangatta Airport has a curfew in operation from 11pm to 6am daily under the Air Navigation (Coolangatta Airport Curfew) Regulations 1999.
The following aircraft are permitted to operate during the curfew:
- Jet aircraft that have a maximum take off weight of up to 34,000 kilos and comply with both Chapter 3 and 90–95 noise level rule.
- Propeller-driven Aircraft that have a maximum take off weight of up to 34,000 kilos.
- Any aircraft that received taxi clearance by Air Traffic Control (ATC), or started taxiing for take off when ATC 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 Coolangatta Airport as an alternate airport.
A quota system operates for certain specified movements during the curfew period
- 24 movements (with restrictions) by domestic passenger jets each year; and
- 4 jet freight movements (maximum) each week.
A domestic passenger jet operator may apply in writing to the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (or delegate) for a permit under Air Navigation (Coolangatta Airport Curfew) Regulations 1999 (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 of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (or delegate) for a permit under the Air Navigation (Coolangatta Airport Curfew) Regulations 1999 (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 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.
Coolangatta Airport's role as an alternate for Brisbane Airport allows for the possibility of aircraft being diverted to Coolangatta Airport. The rules for using Coolangatta Airport during the curfew period are different for international and domestic flights:
- If an international air service is diverted to Coolangatta, it may land and take off during a Curfew Period;
- If a domestic air service is diverted to Coolangatta, it may land (but not take off) during a Curfew Period.
The Regulations provide for fines up to $38,250 for a body corporate.