Quarterly Report: July-September 2020

  1. Overview
  2. Complaint handling
  3. Community Engagement and Noise Information Provision
  4. Attachment 1 - Complaint Statistics
  5. Attachment 2 - Outstanding ANO recommendations
  6. Full report 944kb

Overview

1.1 The ANO carried forward 35 complaints from the previous quarter. During this quarter, the ANO received 71 new complaints and closed 70 complaints and therefore, carries forward 36 complaints to the next quarter.
1.2 Airservices has responded to the ANO's recommendations arising out of two reports released last quarter – Investigation into complaints about the introduction of new flight paths in Sunshine Coast report and Review of Airservices Australia's systems for community engagement - Final Report; and Defence has responded to recommendations from the ANO's Compliance Audit of Australian Super Hornet Flying Operations at RAAF Base Amberley. This report evaluates the implementation of the recommendations.
1.3 There has been intensive and constructive interaction with Airservices in the development and documentation of its community engagement framework and third party framework.
1.4 This quarter the ANO's office welcomed new team member, Lara Baker, in the role of Senior Advisor.
1.5 The ANO office has had in place arrangements for all staff to continue to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic in line with Government guidance. As the office is based in Canberra, it continues to review the best options for ANO staff.

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Complaint handling

2.1 During the quarter, the ANO received 71 complaints comprising 67 relating to Airservices, 2 relating to Defence and 2 where the relevant agency responsible was not identified.
2.2

Figure 1 below shows cases received by quarter over the last 12 months, which indicates a sharp increase in complaints received in the current quarter.

Figure 1: Complaints received by ANO – by Quarter

2.3

Figure 2 below shows the monthly number of cases received this quarter have been consistently high.

Figure 2: Complaints received by ANO – rolling 12-month period – by month

2.4 The rise in complaints about Airservices every month this quarter can be attributed to the opening of two new runways in Queensland. Of the 67 complaints received regarding Airservices, 33 relate to Sunshine Coast Airport, which opened its new runway on 14 June 2020 and 19 relate to Brisbane Airport, specifically the flight paths associated with the opening of the new Brisbane Airport parallel runway on 12 July 2020.
2.5

The complaints received by Airport for the quarter are shown in Figure 3 below:

Figure 3: Complaints received by the ANO – July – September 2020 by Airport of concern

2.6

The ANO closed 70 cases for the quarter, 67 relating to Airservices, 2 relating to Defence and 1 unidentified. Of the 67 cases relating to Airservices, 4 were outside the ANO's scope; 4 resulted in no change possible; 53 were closed as the complainants had either not yet complained to, or finalised their complaint with, Airservices and 6 resulted in a change being adopted by Airservices.

Of the 6 cases that resulted in a change being adopted by Airservices, 3 related to the recommendations accepted in relation the ANO's Sunshine Coast Report and 3 were closed as a result of Airservices undertaking to provide further information to complainants or improve its publicly available information on its website.

2.7 As at 1 October 2020, 36 complaints remain open. These include long standing complaints about Hobart flight paths which are under investigation.
2.8 Full complaint data for the quarter is presented at Attachment 1.

Sunshine Coast

2.9 The ANO made two recommendations in the report of its Investigation into complaints about the introduction of new flight paths in Sunshine Coast. During the quarter, the ANO has engaged intensively with Airservices regarding their implementation.
2.10 One of the ANO's recommendations was that Airservices use its post-implementation review (PIR) process to re-engage with communities and consider community-suggested alternatives to the implemented flight paths. During this quarter Airservices developed the terms of reference for the PIR process and has engaged with community members, community groups, local councils and other interested parties. As the terms of reference for the PIR are currently under community consultation, this recommendation remains open.
2.11 The other ANO recommendation related to Airservices developing a framework for third party proposed airspace changes. Airservices has now provided sufficient information demonstrating it has met this recommendation and it is considered closed.
2.12 A summary of the ANO's assessment of the recommendations is at Attachment 2.

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Community Engagement and Noise Information Provision


Review of Airservices' community engagement systems

3.1 This quarter the ANO continued to work with Airservices on the 6 recommendations arising out of its Review of Airservices Australia's systems for community engagement – Final report that was published on 30 June 2020.
3.2 Airservices has now provided sufficient information demonstrating it has met all of the ANO's recommendations and they are now considered closed.
3.3 A summary of the ANO's assessment of the recommendations is at Attachment 2.

Compliance Audit of Defence's Super Hornet Operations at Amberley

3.4 The ANO continued to monitor Defence's response to the 9 recommendations arising out of its audit of Defence's compliance with the Conditions of Approval for its Australian Super Hornet Flying Operations at RAAF Base Amberley that was finalised in late October 2019.
3.5 Defence submitted further evidence demonstrating that it had addressed all the outstanding recommendations made by the ANO. The ANO worked constructively with Defence to ensure all evidence supporting the meeting of recommendations was provided. The ANO has now closed all 9 recommendations.
3.6 A summary of the ANO's assessment of the recommendations is at Attachment 2.

ANO monitoring activities

3.7 The ANO Charter requires the ANO to monitor and report on Airservices' and Defence's community engagement processes and the presentation and distribution of aircraft noise related information.
3.8

The ANO has worked extensively with Airservices this quarter by advising on policies and procedures as they are developed and liaising with Airservices staff on particular engagement projects as they are delivered. In particular, the ANO has been involved in approximately 50 substantial interactions with Airservices this quarter on Airservices' policies and procedures including:

  • Airservices' draft public Community Engagement Framework (CEF) documents, including the Community Engagement Overview, Commitment to Community Engagement and the Community Engagement Approach
  • Airservices' draft internal CEF document - Community Engagement - Aircraft Operations Procedure ENV-PROC-0011, Version 2
  • Airservices' documents relating to ANO recommendations arising out of its two recent reports including:
    • Sunshine Coast PIR – terms of reference
    • Airservices' Third Party Proposed Flight Path and Airspace Change – Environmental assessment and Community engagement procedure.
3.9 The experience of working with Airservices in this way has contributed to the development of agreed terms of reference to govern this activity, which will be separately submitted to the Board.

 

Kieran Pehm
Aircraft Noise Ombudsman

3 November 2020

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Last Updated: December 2, 2020