The federal government is keeping a close eye on developments around Australia’s major airports, saying that if they interfere with any flight paths, they won’t approve them to be built.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, under the Airports Act, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the government reserve the right to refuse the development of buildings in protected airspace.
Department of Infrastructure and and Regional Development secretary Mark Mrdak said at the Australian Airports Association national conference on Tuesday on the Gold Coast, that the airspace needs to be protected now, or in the long term the chance to do so will be regretfully lost.
"I think it is one of the most important tasks government and industry must work together on.
“More and more, the potential for high-rise residential development is threatening to encroach on flight paths and protected airspace around our airports," Mr Mrdark said.
These regulations however, do not affect smaller non-federally regulated airports outside of major cities.
Mr Mrdark is encouraging state governments to look at a regime similar to that of the Airports Act, as a way to ensure that airport operators have a say in how much airspace they currently and will need in the future.
"It is important that planning by state and local governments take into account airports," Mr Mrdark said.
"Developments near airports and under flight paths can constrain operations.
I recognise this is a challenge for state and local planners trying to maximise land use in their jurisdictions.
But as we know, if we aren't protecting our long-term assets we aren't going to be meeting our growth challenge."
Australians took an average of four flights a year, 30 per cent higher than Europeans and North Americans and Mr Mrdark is confident Australian aviation will continue to grow in the future.