The new technology will also see aircraft travel at lower altitudes over Coffs Harbour - but the council are assuring locals not be concerned.
The new technology will also see aircraft travel at lower altitudes over Coffs Harbour - but the council are assuring locals not be concerned. Trevor Veale

No more lengthy weather delays at Coffs airport

NEW technology that could see the end of lengthy and costly weather-related flight delays at Coffs Harbour airport will soon be introduced.

While the technology Baro-VNAV will make landing safer and more smooth, it will also see aircraft travel at lower altitudes over Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Boambee and Toormina areas.

But Airport Manager Dennis Martin has assured locals the changes will not be noticeable.

He said aircraft will still remain above 800 feet, and noise levels may increase by only 1.9 decibels - which can't be noticed by the human ear.

Residents in rural areas south of Sawtell and north of Bundagen may also notice aircraft flying at slightly lower altitudes of above 890 feet, and an increase in noise levels by 1 decibel.

"In a nutshell, there will be no change to current flight paths for most arrivals and departures, the number of aircraft movements or aircraft types at the airport as a result of these changes,” Mr Martin said.

"But the proposed changes should reduce the frequency of missed approaches during poor weather conditions.

"Missed approaches - or landings - during bad weather can result in flight diversions which are expensive for airlines and inconvenient for our customers so this improvement is to be welcomed.”

Coffs Harbour was chosen as one of 100 sites across the nation for the roll out of Baro-VNAV.

According to Coffs Harbour City Council, Baro-VNAV reduces the need for pilots to rely on visual assessments when landing.

It allows the point where a pilot decides not to land to be closer to the runway and at a lower altitude.

The council has advised residents can expect to see at least one 'missed landing' a week for pilot training purposes.

At this Thursday's meeting, the council will also vote on a confidential motion to take on a new airport security operator, with the current agreement with MSS Security Pty Ltd set to expire at the end of the month.



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