Airservices Australia (Airservices) seeks approval from the Committee to proceed with the Airservices New Aviation Infrastructure and Fire Station Works at Brisbane Airport, Queensland.
The estimated cost of the project is $24.92 million (excluding GST).
The project was referred to the Committee on 14 September 2017.
Conduct of the inquiry
Following referral, the inquiry was publicised on the Committee’s website and via media release.
The Committee received two submissions and one confidential submission. A list of submissions can be found at Appendix A.
On 20 November 2017, the Committee conducted a public and in-camera hearing. A transcript of the public hearing is available on the Committee’s website.
Need for the works
Airservices is a government owned organisation providing services to the aviation industry. Its areas of responsibility cover telecommunications, aeronautical data, navigation services and aviation rescue and firefighting services (ARFFS).
In its submission, Airservices stated that:
[It] safely manage[s] 11 per cent of the world’s airspace where there are more than four million aircraft movements carrying more than 152 million passengers annually.
They went on to say that:
Forecasts for aviation traffic growth indicate passenger numbers in [the] region will double by 2030.
The number of passengers through Brisbane Airport is expected to increase from 22.7 million passengers in 2016-17 to around 50 million by 2035.
In its submission, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) said that:
To meet this growth the Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) is currently constructing a 3,300 metre new runway and taxiway system located two kilometres west of and parallel to the existing runway, at a cost of $1.2 to $1.3 billion.
BAC identified that while it is responsible for construction and maintenance of the runway and taxiway infrastructure, pursuant to the Air Services Act 1995, Airservices is responsible for installation, operation and maintenance of air and ground-based navigation equipment and for aviation rescue and firefighting services.
Airservices told the Committee that proposed works are required to enable them to meet their regulatory obligations ‘once the new parallel runway becomes operational as well as safely manage increased traffic’ at Brisbane Airport.
In its submission, Airservices stated that the introduction of the new parallel runway (NPR) requires them to install additional airfield equipment and infrastructure, including navigation aids at each end of the NPR.
The additional airfield equipment and infrastructure includes a Surface Movement Radar, Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), additional frequencies and fibre optic network.
Airservices told the Committee that:
Aviation rescue firefighting services are currently provided from two sites at Brisbane airport to meet the regulatory requirements, including mandatory response times for the existing runways. The new runway will be located to the west of the existing main runway, and the current main and satellite fire stations will be unable to meet the response time and line-of-sight requirements for the provision of aviation rescue and firefighting services to that new runway.
Airservices stated that to ensure the NPR ‘will be fit for purpose and compliant with all of the required regulations’ they have planned to build a new Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service (ARFFS).
The Committee is satisfied that the need for the work exists.
Scope of the works
In its submission, Airservices split the scope of the proposed works into two work elements.
Element 1 is focussed on the civil works required to prepare the sites for the installation of new air navigation aids and a new fibre optic network to improve communications.
Airservices stated that the civil works would support:
The installation of new navigation aids: two new Instrument Landing System (ILS), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and Anemometers servicing each end of the new runway.
The provision, installation and integration of a second Surface Movement Radar (SMR), and additional Multilateration System (MLAT) remote units into the existing Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (ASMGCS).
The provision of an Airserivces on airport fibre network including:
New fibre optic cabling; and
At the public hearing, Airservices told the Committee that the civil works would include ‘the establishment of concrete pads for [the] plant and equipment to sit on top of—whether that is the surface movement radar or the ILS equipment’ and also ‘putting in [a fibre ring] to connect all those devices back up to the tower.’
Element 2 is focussed on the construction of a new ARFFS Station. Airservices stated that this element includes:
Establishment of a sub-lease over a new parcel of land for the new ARFFS facility.
Design of new facilities based on the Airservices Standardised Design documentation and site specific room data sheets.
Construction of new facilities, including:
Tender bays – sized to suit three Rosenhauer Panther ultra large fire vehicles and one domestic response vehicle;
Administration and amenities building; and
Vehicle replenishment facilities.
Transition and commissioning of ARFFS to the new facilities.
In its submission, Airservices stated that the construction of the new ARFFS Station will provide compliant sight lines and initial response to the NPR. They also stated that ‘the existing station will continue to be used to provide visibility and initial response to the existing runway [but] that the existing Satellite station will be decommissioned, demolished and the site remediated.’
At the public hearing, Airservices provided further detail on the new ARFFS Station’s ability to meet its mandatory response times. Airservices stated that, as the runway is not yet built a theoretical model is used to test the response times. It went on to say that the theoretical model is built on extensive practical testing and has been used ‘at a number of other locations where [they] have had to build new fire stations.’ Further, by ‘including a slight safety margin in the model, the actual or practical test is slightly faster than the theoretical model.’
The Committee finds that the proposed scope of works is suitable for the works to meet its purpose.
Cost of the works
The total estimated cost of the project is $24.92 million (excluding GST). It includes the costs of the civil works associated with the installation of additional airfield equipment and infrastructure, the design and construction of a new ARFFS Station and demolishing the existing satellite fire station once the new facilities are operational.
The Committee received a confidential supplementary submission detailing the project costs and held an in-camera hearing with Airservices on the project costs.
The Committee is satisfied that the costings for the project provided to it have been adequately assessed by the proponent entity.
The Committee notes that, in its submission, Airservices advised that the new ARFFS Station will follow a typical ARFF Station design –the Gladstone/Newman model. As a result, the Committee was satisfied that Airservices has experience and the ability to build a station from this standardised design.
The Committee did not identify any issues of concern with the proposal and is satisfied that the project has merit in terms of need, scope and cost.
Having regard to its role and responsibilities contained in the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the Committee is of the view that this project signifies value for money for the Commonwealth and constitutes a project which is fit for purpose, having regard to the established need.
The Committee recommends that the House of Representatives resolve, pursuant to Section 18(7) of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, that it is expedient to carry out the following proposed works: Airservices Australia New Aviation Infrastructure and Fire Station Works at Brisbane Airport, Queensland.
Proponent entities must notify the Committee of any changes to the project scope, time, cost, function or design. The Committee also requires that a post-implementation report be provided within three months of the project completion. A report template can be found on the Committee’s website.
Mr Scott Buchholz MP