NOOSA’S tourism will take a hit along with sensitive ecosystems if the proposed new flight paths to Sunshine Coast Airport go ahead.
That is according to Friends of Lake Weyba who are upset their concerns about impacts over the Marcus Beach and Lake Weyba areas raised in 2014 submissions appear to have been ignored.
“Our organisation did not believe the EIS (enviromental impact statement) adequately addressed the effect aircraft would have on ecologically sensitive Lake Weyba, an integral part of the Noosa River system,” FOLW president Anita Brake said.
“The airport expansion has been lauded as being beneficial to our tourism industry, yet the tourism experience will be significantly diminished beneath a major regional jet flight path.
“Visitors come to the Sunshine Coast for the natural experience not to be bombarded with aircraft noise or to see planes close overhead.
“The organisation also believes the social impact on residents and tourist visitors of the northern Sunshine Coast area should also be a consideration.”
She said noise and visual pollution has significantly increased since 2014 and will more than double by the year 2040.
“Now with the flight path over Lake Weyba reclassified from secondary to primary, we are increasingly concerned about the potential long-term effects on the lake itself and the wildlife in the air, water and surrounding land,” she said.
“A further EIS addressing in detail the areas under the proposed flight paths is required before final decisions are made.”
Ms Brake said to date studies on the impact of the airport expansion have only focused on the immediate vicinity of the airport.
“Consultation with residents and tourism operators of the northern Sunshine Coast has been minimal at best,” she said.
“Friends of Lake Weyba advocate that the flight path consultation period be extended and consideration be given to alternative runway 13 arrival and runway 31 departure flight paths.
“The noise, visual, environmental and social burden should at the very least be shared and an enforceable curfew imposed to lessen these impacts on the whole community.
“The EIS should be the reference document – it should be accurate, complete and followed.
“For Air Services or Sunshine Coast Council to disregard the published EIS smacks in the face of due process.”