Today (10 April 2008), Infrastructure Australia announced the commencement of the process to develop a National Aviation Policy Statement. Apparently the National Aviation Policy Statement will provide greater planning and investment certainty for the industry and provide clear commitments for users of aviation services and communities affected by aviation activity. So it appears the days where Canberra Airport is able to do what they want to do without consideration of the actions on Canberra (and local region) may be thankfully numbered. For my part I have no problem with the airport continuing to do what an airport is supposed to do – aviation and aeronautical functions. I just look at the office development that has already occurred out at Brindabella park and lament the fact that those facilities could (and should) have been located in the existing town centres. Submissions are being sought for the preparation of a Green paper and should be sent to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government by no later than Friday 27 June 2008.
To save you needing to trawl through 30 pages of the issues paper, some of the more pertinent questions being asked in the white paper that are relevant to the Capital Region include:Airport planning and Development:
- Are the planning and development mechanisms under the Airports Act working effectively?
- How can we improve consultation with State and local authorities and with the community?
- Could the regulatory regime better facilitate genuine long-term co-operation between airport operator companies and state and local governments on land use planning?
- How can we better integrate investment on airports with the funding and construction of improved road and rail links to and from our airports?
- What mechanisms might be used to ensure an effective ongoing dialogue between airport operators and their local communities?
- How should the potential commercial impact for off-airport competition be taken into account in planning on-airport non-aeronautical development?
- Could the ANEF system be improved or be supplemented by other planning tools to better explain the impact of aircraft noise? Should State and local governments play a greater role in aircraft noise management? What should be the responsibilities of airports?
- Should emphasis be given to airport/community partnership approaches, for example, based on locally negotiated agreements rather than generic legislative approaches?
- Can techniques for sharing information on aircraft noise impact be further developed to improve the supply of information to potential property purchasers and other affected parties?
- Which airports in Australia need to remain curfew free and under what conditions? Can operations at airports be better managed to ensure the community is protected while at the same time providing for night time access?