Integration principle: Decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long‑term and short‑term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations
Our flight path change management processes have integrated and embedded social and environmental impact assessment methodologies that inform the delivery of effective community engagement activities and environmentally responsible flight path design.
Key improvements enacted included:
- functional alignment of flight path design, environmental assessment, community engagement and aircraft noise complaint management
- national stakeholder consultation to develop new Flight Path Design Principles that will guide the design, development and implementation of future flight path changes and consider environmental and social impacts, in addition to safety and operational requirements
- expansion of the Engage Airservices website to support community engagement for all flight path changes and to enable consideration of community feedback to inform flight path design
- development of the Community Engagement Framework that provides a contemporary approach, and includes improved engagement timing, information provision and engagement methods.
To support the environmental efficiency of our customers’ operations (both short and long term), we continued to:
- provide efficient aircraft routing options
- implement continuous descent operations (CDO) and continuous climb operations (CCO)
- implement Required Navigation Performance procedures.
Our planned implementation of the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A‑CDM), and Long Range Air Traffic Flow Management (LR‑ATFM) platforms has been placed on hold following the dramatic downturn in aviation activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A‑CDM is a form of smart airport technology that allows Airservices, airports and airlines to share data and synchronise operations. LR‑ATFM allows greater scheduling and control of aircraft airport arrivals, which avoids holding patterns and associated landing delays. Expected improved environmental outcomes through reduced fossil fuel use and emissions will not be realised until aircraft arrival demand at airports recovers, and we will plan restart criteria for the two initiatives in conjunction with our industry partners.
Precautionary principle: If there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation
We continued to progress implementation of the Per‑and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Program Management Plan. This includes:
- continuing site assessments to better understand the extent and level of PFAS residues
- undertaking research and development activities to better understand the issues
- trialling new technologies in the field aimed at containing PFAS migration
- working with relevant government authorities to develop the regulatory guidance required to better address these issues.
Key milestones of the plan delivered this reporting period:
- Finalisation of the transition to PFAS-free foam at Darwin and Townsville airports in agreement with the Department of Defence.
- Completion of a longitudinal study by the University of Queensland to assess effectiveness of PFAS exposure controls for communities and fire fighters.
Intergenerational principle: The present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations.
We continue to evolve and develop the EMS to ensure the application of programmes and controls that protect the environment from our activities for current and future generations.
Key EMS improvements made in 2019-20 include:
- revised on-ground change management suite, including updated on-ground change management standard, Corporate Integrated Reporting and Risk Information System (CIRRIS) Managemen of Change (MOC) module, and development of a template for conducting an environmental impact assessment (EIA)
- revised Air Traffic Management (ATM) change management suite, including the ATM change National Operating Standard (NOS), and ATM CIRRIS MOC module
- revised risk management methodologies and processes for operational processes
- revised environmental occurrence management standard to ensure improved external reporting timeframes and responsibilities are reflected
Our EMS at our two representative sites-Gold Coast Airport and Canberra Airport- was audited by an independent external body to gain re-certification against the requirements within ISO 14001:2015, Environmental Management Systems. The audit concluded the organisation fulfils ISO 14001 standard requirements and considers the management system continues to achieve its intended outcomes.
We continued to promote environmental awareness and train key people on environmental issues, while undertaking a targeted audit and assurance programme to check on, and improve, our performance. This includes the rollout of a new programme for our people involved in on-ground activities, to ensure the appropriate environmental management of approximately 700 of our sites across Australia.
We worked with the Civil Aviation Historical Society and other stakeholders to preserve Australia’s aviation history. We continued our support for the Connecting the Nation portal, sponsorship of the Airways Museum based at Essendon Airport, and industry partnership with the Australian Research Council for the Heritage of the Air Project (a research project investigating how aviation has transformed Australian society over the last 100 years).
We also sponsored the Women in Aviation International (WAI) Australian Chapter in 2019, as well as providing media and social media support at the WAI Emerging Leaders Forum.
Our fire fighters have provided active support to the bush fires response in both New South Wales and Queensland.
In January 2019, we revised our Heritage Strategy for the period 2018–2020, in accordance with Section 341ZA of the EPBC Act. In accordance with this strategy, we updated Heritage Management Plans for six air traffic control towers on the Commonwealth Heritage List, and started digital recording work for four of our navigational aids with known heritage values (that will soon be transferred).
Our former International Transmitter Station (ITS) site at Llandilo in western Sydney will be transferred to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, to create a new regional park, conserving the site’s natural, Indigenous and historical heritage values.
Rectification and ratification of resource usage data is progressing. We reported in accordance with National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 requirements for 2018–19.
Biodiversity principle: The conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making
The protection of biodiversity values is a key requirement of the EMS with associated controls built into the management of all our activities (from flight path changes to on‑ground operations).
Our revised requirements for flight path change management include additional quantitative and qualitative measures for assessing biodiversity impacts. Our internal standards for infrastructure development include targeted controls to protect flora and fauna values throughout projects and operational activities.
Our former International Transmitter Station (ITS) site at Llandilo in western Sydney, will be transferred to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to create a new regional park. The site has large strands of the Cumberland Plain Woodland endangered ecological community, and a number of associated threatened species.
At our Doppler Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range (DVOR) and Non-Directional Beacon (NBD) sites at Canberra Airport, we produced and implemented a new guide for the management of the natural temperate grassland ecological community (and a number of associated threatened species), to better align with the landowner’s (Department of Defence) management practices on adjoining properties.
Valuation principle: Improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted
We continue to build and manage our asset base through the implementation of our Asset Management and Portfolio, Program and Project Management (P3M) Frameworks. Under P3M, investment initiatives are strategically prioritised to ensure we deliver value and innovation to our customers and ensure the sustainment of our ageing asset base.