Brisbane Airport caps to cause “catastrophic impact”

Regional Queensland could lose out on $1.5 billion if Brisbane Airport capacity restriction goes ahead. Janie Medbury reports.

A NEW economic analysis has illustrated the detrimental impact that cutting thousands of flights between Brisbane and the rest of Queensland would have on the state’s tourism industry.

Data shows the Sunshine State’s regional economic activity would nosedive by $1.5 billion if the Greens party successfully passes a Bill next week in Federal Parliament, which would see a curfew and flight caps of 45 movements per hour introduced at Brisbane Airport.

The new legislation would result in 3,100 fewer regional Queensland flights and 239,000 reduced passenger movements in Financial Year 2026, increasing to a loss of 11,200 flights and 915,600 passengers by FY32.

Brisbane Airport’s Head of Public Affairs, Stephen Breckett, said the data proves that reducing flight capacity at the hub “would have a catastrophic impact on jobs in regional cities and towns across Queensland because tourists can’t get in, and exports can’t get out”.

“This would be devastating for Queensland tourism. 75% of international tourists to Queensland arrive via Brisbane Airport, and the loss of thousands of flights to regional Queensland would restrict the flow of visitors.”

He also pointed out that many of the state’s regional communities, including Moranbah, Emerald, Miles and Biloela, are completely reliant on the Brisbane hub for air access.

Additionally, the restrictions would spell flight delays and cancellations, fewer services, and inconvenient domestic travel times, on top of reduced connectivity to regional Queensland.

“There are better ways to deal with aircraft noise than imposing a cap on the hourly movement of aircraft which would return Brisbane Airport to less capacity than when it had a single runway,” Breckett argued.

“Airservices Australia, the Commonwealth agency responsible for flight path design and air traffic control, is finalising a range of changes to which aims to deliver more flights over Moreton Bay.

“Brisbane Airport is also working with its airline partners on a range of initiative including the introduction of next generation quieter aircraft, and measures to boost the number of aircraft taking off over Moreton Bay,” he concluded.

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