Aircraft have been using Smart Tracking flight paths in Townsville since 2011. On 10 November 2016 existing Smart Tracking flight paths to the north and south west of the airport were adjusted to meet the latest international requirements. These are set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The updated Smart Tracking flight paths for aircraft landing from the north onto Runway 19 are not noticeably different to the previous flight paths. There are slight changes to the Smart Tracking flight paths from the south onto Runway 01, and residents in the Kelso area may notice a difference. There may be a small increase in the number of flights using Smart Tracking. Whilst these areas were already overflown by departing and arriving aircraft, residents may notice that Qantas and Jetstar are flying more predictable paths. More airlines are expected to adopt the use of Smart Tracking in the future.
Airservices and RAAF Townsville are realigning the satellite based navigation approach to Runway 19 to improve safety and improve the landing capability of aircraft. The new flight path will move approximately 2km west of Horseshoe Bay residential area and reduce overall noise impacts relative to the existing flight path.
There are a small number of residents located to the west of Horseshoe Bay who may notice an increase in noise levels and a change in aircraft tracking.