Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says criticism of Brisbane Airport is damaging the city's reputation. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Stop criticising Brisbane Airport, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has urged local business leaders.
Flight delays and several attempts to solve the airport's troubled drop-off/pick-up area have been a source of tension for travellers.
Cr Quirk he understood his request - his final message at the end of Tuesday's two-hour presentation on G20 matters - would be provocative, but criticism of the airport must stop for the good of the city.
‘‘We have got to stop bagging our airport,’’ Cr Quirk said.
‘‘We have got to stop doing it.
‘‘It is damaging this city like you wouldn’t believe.’’
Cr Quirk said critics should look to the federal arena if they wanted to remove problems standing in the airport’s way.
At present the airport's cross runway can only be used during the day in certain weather conditions.
Brisbane Airport Corporation is in the process of creating a second runway at the site and is seeking approval to open its cross runway at night.
‘‘If you want to do something productive, please get onto the federal aviation authorities that have closed down a part of the runway for our airport for certain hours, causing some of the issues,’’ Cr Quirk said.
He said Brisbane’s cross runway needed to be reopened.
‘‘I urge you to write to federal aviation authorities,’’ he said.
‘‘Let’s do it because that will solve a significant part of the issues.’’
Cr Quirk said when Brisbane’s second runway opened in 2020 the airport's capacity would be similar to that of Hong Kong or Singapore's.
Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive Julianne Alroe said the cross runway was first closed for safety reasons after a near-accident.
Now it is being used during the day, Ms Alroe said.
With the cross runway operating Brisbane Airport can receive 28 arrivals an hour.
Without the cross runway, the runway can receive 23 flights an hour, sometimes 25.
‘‘What we have been trying to do with Airservices Australia and CASA is to find a method of operation which allows us to use the runway in conjunction with the main runway at night and every day,’’ Ms Alroe said.
‘‘At the moment we are using it during the day, but only in certain weather conditions.
‘‘So what we want is full use, guaranteed each day.’’
Ms Alroe said to get that access, a situation described as dependent runway operations, authorities needed to validate safety proceedures.
‘‘It is a procedure that is used in the States and has been approved by the Federal Airport Authority,’’ she said.
Ms Alroe said she was meeting regularly with CASA and AirServices Australia to assure them the Brisbane cross runway would be used in the same way.
‘‘Now once that is signed off, all the pilots, all the air traffic controllers using Brisbane Airport have to be briefed and then trained - and that is quite a lot of people so it is really important that it is done properly because if we bring it back into operation and something goes wrong we might lose it forever.’’
Ms Alroe said it would not be until November 2014 - at the latest - that the cross runway would open fully.
‘‘But any time from about halfway through next year until that time we are hoping that we might be able to get it back in.’’
It does give us a lot of extra activity, especially if we can go after dark.’’
Ms Alroe said it would not impact the G20 summit because business flight demand began to fall in November, and tourist flights did not pick up until later in December.