The airport doesn't close during fog. However, the use of the runways and aprons may be slowed for safety reasons particularly when visibility is below 550 metres. Find out more about what happens at the airport during thick fog events.
On average Brisbane has eight days of fog a year. Out of those days, fog only affects Brisbane Airport when visibility at the airport is less than 5500 metres. Brisbane Airport currently has a Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS) which requires 800 metres visibility for pilots to land. When Brisbane’s new runway opens in mid-2020, Brisbane will have the first 100% LED Cat 1 Lighting System which includes stop bar lighting which can improve operations during low visibility events like fog. You can watch more more about the new lighting system here.
In Australia, only Melbourne and Perth have invested in Category IIIB ILS certification due to their increased exposure to fog events which allows pilots to land when visibility drops to just 75 metres.
What is ILS?
Definition: Instrument Landing System (ILS) is defined as a precision runway approach aid based on two radio beams which together provide pilots with both vertical and horizontal guidance during an approach to land.
Does the airport close during fog?
No, the airport doesn’t close however flights may be slowed, delayed or diverted until the fog starts to clear and visibility returns to a safe level for pilots to land. Fog generally affects the peak morning time, and ongoing delays depend on the severity of the fog event.
Checking flight status
Weather events are a busy time for the airport, airlines and Airservices Australia as we work together to ensure the safety of all passengers and to get back on track as soon as possible. If you want to check on a flight status:
- Check the airline website for flight status
- Google the flight number
- Check BNE.com.au/flights and subscribe to flight notifications on Facebook Messenger and Twitter
- Be patient. Many flights can be affected and updates can take time to be organised.
What happens when a flight is diverted to another airport?
Many factors contribute to flights being diverted and getting passengers back to their original arrival point, this information is a guide only. Airlines will have the most up-to-date information, please be patient while plans are put in place.
- International flights – in most cases, once there is an available spot, the flight will come into Brisbane.
- Domestic flights - delayed flights will come into Brisbane at a later time or if the flight is cancelled, passengers will be re-booked on a later flight.
- Diverted to the Gold Coast – passengers may depart the plane and bus coaches will bring passengers to Brisbane Airport.
- PLEASE NOTE: This information is a guide only of arrangements that may happen in a thick fog event affecting Brisbane Airport. Please check with the airline for the up-to-date information on flight status and arrangements in these weather event situations.
Want to know more?
Watch: How does Brisbane differ from other cities with weather events involving fog?
Watch: Weather and the airport: Fog