"Promoting the science of aerospace medicine"

8th of November 2012

Aircraft landing in Brisbane before noon instructed to carry 50 minutes' worth of holding fuel

The Runway Demand Management System came into effect last month but has made no discernible difference to delayed arrival times, with planes regularly waiting between 20 and 40 minutes to land in Brisbane in peak periods.

On the Sunday the system started, 28 planes were put into holding patterns over southeast Queensland in a 60-minute period compared with 32 a week earlier.

In the preceding weeks, an average of 18 aircraft were held in the same period each Sunday. 

When no more aircraft can be held, departures are delayed - which in turn creates issues for airlines trying to keep slots at other airports.

Radar images of the airport from last Friday night show three aircraft in holding patterns.

Leonie Vandeven from the Brisbane Airport Corporation said the system would take time to bed down. 

"We haven't had sufficient time to gain useful data to do a detailed analysis, however, on certain days, there has been good improvement with reduced delays, particularly in the mornings," Ms Vandeven said.

Another system known as Metron is due to start operation later this month which would make further improvements, Ms Vandeven said.

However, the same system proved problematic at Perth Airport, which is facing similar challenges to Brisbane in terms of demand outstripping the infrastructure capabilities.

Information distributed to airlines by Airservices Australia shows all aircraft using Brisbane must now carry a minimum of 10 minutes extra fuel, and between 20 and 50 minutes extra in designated periods.

The problem is linked to the closure of the shorter cross runway while preliminary works are carried out for the new parallel runway - which will not be built until 2020.