On 16 December 2009 the National Aviation Policy White Paper
"Flight Path to the Future" (White
Paper) was released. The White Paper outlined more than
130 policy initiatives including an initiative to "further
increase the transparency of airport development" by requiring
airports to "notify the community of building applications by
publishing them on the airport website". The Airports
(Building Control) Regulations 1996 (Cth) (Regulations) have
now been amended to give effect to this White Paper initiative. It
is important that airport-lessee companies incorporate these
amendments into their procedural guidelines to ensure ongoing
compliance with the amended Regulations.
The Regulations provide for the approval of building activities
and other works at leased federal airports. With effect from 27
March 2010, the approvals process provided in the Regulations was
amended by the Airports (Building Control) Amendment
Regulations 2010 (No. 1) 2010 No. 51 (Cth) (Amendment
Regulations). According to the explanatory statement, the objective
of the Amendment Regulations was to "create greater
transparency in the approvals process for carrying out building
activity on an airport site...".
The Amending Regulations inserted new regulation 2.04A
(Publication of details of applications) and regulation 2.04B
(Publication of decisions on applications) to oblige airport-lessee
companies to publish certain information on their websites, within
five business days of an application for approval to carry out
building activity being made (if the applicant is the
airport-lessee company) or within five business days after the day
the airport-lessee company receives the application (if the
applicant is not the airport-lessee company). The amendments also
require airport-lessee companies to publish details as to whether
or not such applications have been approved.
New regulation 2.04A provides that if a person applies under
regulation 2.02 for a building approval for an airport site, then
the airport-lessee company for the airport site must publish the
following information on the airport's website:
the name of the person making the application;
if the applicant is the airport-lessee company – the
date on which the company submitted the application to the airport
if the applicant is not the airport-lessee company –
the date on which the company received the application;
a description of the proposed building activity covered by the
the location of the building activity on the airport site.
New regulation 2.04B provides that the airport-lessee company
must update the information required under new regulation 2.04A
with information about whether or not the application has been
consented to by the airport-lessee company and/or approved by the
airport building controller and/or withdrawn, within 5 business
days of such an event occurring. According to the Explanatory
Statement, the Amendment Regulations are not intended to limit the
scope or detail of information to be published about building
activity by airport-lessee companies.
Consistent with the initiative envisioned by the White Paper,
these amendments ensure that members of the public can be
reasonably informed as to what building activity is proposed for an
airport site, and whether or not the proposed building activity
will proceed. These amendments will require airport-lessee
companies to ensure that the required information is made available
on their website within the prescribed timeframes and may require
procedural guidelines to be updated accordingly.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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