Airservices Australia CEO change vindicates community concerns, but more must be done to address systemic problems


Transport Minister Catherine King has today announced that Airservices Australia CEO Jason Harfield will not be reappointed despite the Airservices Australia Board recommending his renewal.

The decision comes after Airservices Australia (ASA) has received record complaints about aircraft noise following the opening of Brisbane Airport's second runway.

A Greens-secured Senate inquiry into aircraft noise heard just weeks ago from multiple witnesses about the repeated failures of ASA in community engagement, flight path design around Brisbane’s second runway, and a severe shortage of air traffic controllers.

Lines attributable to Elizabeth Watson-Brown MP, Greens spokesperson for Transport, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities:

“Today’s announcement that Airservices Australia CEO Jason Harfield’s contract won’t be renewed by the Minister is clear result of pressure from the Brisbane community and the Greens who have highlighted ASA’s repeated failures, particularly in dealing with aircraft noise issues.

“Minister King’s decision, overturning the board of ASA who recommended Mr Harfield’s reappointment, is clear recognition of ASA’s failures and the need for change. But this isn’t a PR crisis, it’s a real one affecting residents all across this country.

“More than just a CEO replacement is required for real change at ASA. While ASA continues to rely on fees from airlines for their funding, they can never be a truly independent body that makes decisions based on the safety and health of the community.

“ASA’s funding structure must be reconsidered to remove the inherent conflict of interest at the heart of their organisation.

“Now that the Minister has acknowledged the problems at ASA, she should work with the Brisbane community and the Greens to address the noise issues at Brisbane Airport, including introducing flight caps and a curfew.”