ILS’s biggest opponent says new technology a ‘win’
A "milestone" day for Gold Coast Airport with new landing technology turned on is being hailed a "win" for the city even by its biggest opponent.
The new Instrument Landing System (ILS) was turned on yesterday guaranteeing landings in poor conditions - but involving a controversial new approach over homes from Surfers Paradise to Currumbin.
Gold Coast Lifestyle Association John Hicks, who fought ILS plans for three years said a "sensible balance has been struck" over the flight path.
Amidst lengthy negotiations with Airservices Australia, his association managed a win against the aviation organisation before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2017.
The tribunal decision means the ILS and its accompanying flight path can only be used by pilots to land safely in bad weather, or when required due to operational or emergency requirements.
Mr Hicks conceded it was strange for him to welcome a project he originally opposed wholesale but he considered the end result a "win for the community".
"From our association's point of view, we're very happy we've received a great outcome for the community regarding the restrictions to the ILS."
Mr Hicks said "worst-case scenario", between 6am and 11pm about "55 flights could use the ILS flight path", the average number of daily flights.
He called it a reasonable outcome, considering the original proposal to use ILS without restrictions.
The ILS costs $10 million but the only visible signs of it are a series of orange and white antennas and a diminutive building.
Installing the system was a joint airport and Airservices Australia effort.
The ILS will be used by pilots to safely land but it's up to individual pilot discretion whether they take advantage of the system.
Airservices Australia northern operations manager Doug Scott said the right balance has been struck between the needs of passengers and residents.
"It's just another alternative for aircraft to be assured of a landing.
"When those weather conditions are such that they need to get to a lower height to be set up for a landing that's when the ILS will be used," he said.
Gold Coast Airport operations general manager Brett Curtis: "Today marks a significant milestone.
"The airport is equipped with the latest technology to ensure a landing during adverse weather