Australia’s first aircraft noise ombudsman

By Angela Dorizas

Federal Minister for Transport, Anthony Albanese, has announced the creation of Australia’s first independent aircraft noise ombudsman.

Following on from the Government’s national aviation white paper released last year, Ron Brent has been appointed to the position of independent Aircraft Noise Ombudsman.

In an address to the Aviation Outlook Conference on Wednesday, Mr Albanese said the new position will improve the flow of public information and provide a better mechanism for following up aircraft noise complaints.

“Aircraft noise remains a major cause for concern in the communities near airports,” Mr Albanese said.

“It is important that the community can be confident of a fair assessment of any complaints they make.”

The independent ombudsman will be responsible for reviewing the handling of complaints or enquiries made to Airservices Australia about aircraft noise; monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of the presentation and distribution of aircraft noise-related information; and making recommendations to the board of Airservices for improvements relating to public consultation and handling of complaints where necessary.

The ombudsman will provide regular reports to the Airservices Board and the Transport Minister. He will also be required to issue an annual report to the public.

Mr Brent was previously Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman, a position he held since 2003, and more recently he served as Acting Commonwealth Ombudsman. He will commence his position as aircraft noise ombudsman on September, 1, 2010.

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