Controversial landing system to go live at Gold Coast Airport

The Instrument Landing System (ILS) is due to be switched on at Gold Coast Airport today.

The system is expected to reduce the number of diversions into the airport during bad weather conditions.

Gold Coast Airport considers the project a significant milestone, after more than a decade of preparation and work.


The ILS is a highly accurate radio signal navigation aid with two antennas transmitting signals to incoming aircraft.

It aims to guide the pilot with vertical and horizontal directions when landing in low visibility.

This means that more aircraft will be able to land safely during rough weather, rather than staying in the air or turning back to other airports.

The ILS does force an alternate flight path that extends north in a straight line to Surfers Paradise, rather than other flight paths that come in over the water.

This has caused concerns from the Gold Coast public, that when the new flight path is used, there could be significant noise problems.

However, the alternate path is only supposed to be used during inclement weather.

The Airservices fact sheet about the system has allowed for international aircraft to use the flight path on occasion as well, though suggest this will be as minimised as possible.

Airservices also says it will implement Noise Abatement Procedures (NAPs) to ensure that alternate flight paths minimise ILS usage as much as possible.

Gold Coast Airport is due to switch on the ILS signals later this morning.