No Aircraft Noise congratulates Marrickville Council for demanding that work for the East West Runway safety upgrade be done during the curfew at night. The motion was moved by Greens Councillor Sam Byrne and passed as the Greens had the majority at that meeting. In addition, councillors demanded that the airport avoid excessive construction noise into the nearest suburb of Kyeemagh.This would have meant that the East West Runway would remain open and Marrickville would be spared the 48% increase in aircraft noise proposed by Sydney Airport. Sydney Airport proposes to close the runway for 8 months, diverting all air traffic onto the north south flight paths and takingaway the respite from continuous noise for Marrickville residents.Editorial – make your vote count in council electionsOn Saturday 13 September, we will all vote in local council elections. We should consider the policies and performance of the parties and the independents on the airport issue, particularly with the looming East West Runway closure.The Greens have the position nearest to No Aircraft Noise, with their policy being to move the airport out of the Sydney Basin. Greens councillors are keen to fight the airport’s expansion and protect our quality of life.The most prominent independent Mayor is Clover Moore, who also supports our idea of moving the airport out of the city. Other independents vary greatly, and some are puppets for the main political parties, especially the Liberal Party which does not usually contest council elections.Labor has a shocking record, having built the third runway and supported the Liberals’ airport privatisation bill in the Senate. Labor’s plan for a second airport, even if they did it this time, would still allow Macquarie Bank to run 80 flights an hour for 17 hours a day through the existing Sydney Airport.The Liberal Party ended Labor’s concentrated flight paths and spread the noise, temporarily reducing the problem. But they sold Sydney Airport to Macquarie Bank, complicating the future by the necessity to negotiate with, or compensate the bank in order to move the airport out of our city. Macquarie Bank, of course wants maximum traffic to increase their profits.No Aircraft Noise advocates a vote for the Greens, or for a good independent to gain the best action from your council.Consultant said East West Runway need not be closedA report to the Sydney Airport “Community” Forum by Aviation Community Advocate, Tony Williams said that the airport could re-open the runway by using Frankipile drilling machines designed to be lowered quickly. Williams said that this has already been done at one Australian airport. Williams recommended that, as a minimum, the runway be re-opened every weekend to reduce the impact of noise on residents.After the 8 months runway closure, the airport also wants to open the East West runway only after 7pm and before 7am for a further 10 months of construction work. Sydney Airport’s plan to re No open the runway every evening shows that they could just as easily open it for every day in this phase of construction and do the work at night instead.New “quiet” jets fail reality testClaims by airlines that new jets are much quieter have been disproved by noise monitoring carried out by Air Services Australia. Monitoring at Leichhardt shows that the much hyped giant Airbus A380 and the new Boeing 777 are above 80dBA, way above the acceptable noise levels for residential areas and louder than heavy traffic on Parramatta Road.Qantas and Singapore Airlines want to have the night curfew and the 80 movements an hour cap “relaxed”, claiming that newer “quieter” jets make this possible. The curfew, giving us only a minimum of seven hours sleep, must be retained.While the airport remains within the city, Qantas and Singapore must accept that there will always be a curfew and limits on the noise they can make. Our challenge is to move the airport outside of the city.Yes minister lines up with airport, Qantas and Singapore AirlinesTransport minister Anthony Albanese has joined Sydney Airport’s orgy of self congratulation over the giant Airbus A380, which they claim is much quieter.Speaking at the Australian War Memorial on 25 June, Albanese said “the Airbus also has a smaller noise footprint on take off and landing, which reduces the impact of aircraft noise on residential areas.” This echoes the claims of Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Sydney Airport, which all claim that new jets should allow a relaxation of noise controls on the curfew and the movements cap.Albanese has been completely Yes Ministered by Air Services Australia which is misleading people with false interpretations of noise statistics. Air Services are claiming that the small reductions in noise compared with the noisiest current model jet, the Boeing 747-400 represent a big improvement.Monitoring at Leichhardt shows that this is not the case. At Sydenham, the noise is even worse, with the Airbus A380 above 90dBA. At every monitoring station within the seat of Grayndler, currently represented by Albanese, the Airbus is above 70dBA, even if it doesn’t fly directly over that monitor.Albanese must say whether it is satisfactory to operate this huge jet above residential areas, when it puts out so much noise and pollution. The Airbus is above the noise levels that Albanese has set for construction noise on the East West Runway.Environment Minister should have been consulted on East West Runway closurePhilip Lingard of the community group Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc said that the Airports Act requires the Environment Minister to have been consulted on the airport’s plan to close the East West Runway.Lingard said “the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act, which is now in force, means that the MDP also has to go to the Environment Minister (Peter Garrett) for consideration and approval if it alters existing aviation airspace arrangements in a manner which may be detrimental to the human environment.”In the past, the airport has refused to make the final MDP public. In the case of the shopping centre near the third runway proposal, they made big changes, but wouldn’t release the details. NAN wrote to the airport and the minister, asking that the final MDP be made public, and that a month be made available for public comments to the minister. The airport has refused to release the plan, claiming that only the minister can do this.May, 2008 Volume 13, Issue 1 Say No to Sydney Airport through new NAN website The new NAN website was launched this week and will allow users to send emails for our campaigns to end the noise. The first campaign email will call on people to tell Sydney Airport and local MPs to keep the East West Runway open and not dump 17 hours a day noise on us. The new website has a lively format and will be regularly updated with the latest news. Seventeen hours a day if the East West Runway closes A huge increase in aircraft noise in suburbs north of the airport has been predicted in Sydney Airport’s Major Development Plan for the Runway End Safety Area. The early morning, mid day and late evening flights now on the East West would all be directed to the north and south of the airport. The airport’s draft Major Development Plan can be viewed at http://www.sydneyairport.com.au/SACL/Corporate+Information/Runway+Safety/default.htm. Closing the East West Runway would increase flights in the Inner West immediately north of the airport by 48% and also increase flights on the Lower North Shore by 70%. Inner West predicted increase is from 143 flights to 212 per day average and Lower North Shore from 97 up to 165. The airport proposes that the runway would be completely closed for 8 months and closed from 7 am to 7 pm for another 10 months, ending noise sharing for 18 months. The work would begin in October if Transport Minister Albanese approves the MDP. Already the runway has been shortened by 90 metres to allow a temporary safety area, as the airport has failed to meet the 1 May deadline set way back in 2003. This has resulted in an extra 22 planes per day north of the airport, as the biggest jets can no longer use the shortened East West Runway. Airport must do the work at night Back in 2003 the Civil Aviation Safety Authority told the airport that 90 by 90 metre safety areas must be built at each end of all the runways. The airport did this on all runway ends except the western end of the East West Runway. That area has the South West Ocean Outfall Sewer, the M5 Motorway tunnel and high voltage cables which need a land bridge above them to support the weight of an aircraft that lands short or runs off the end of the runway. The airport claims that occupational health and safety reasons mean that the work must be done in the day time, but the RTA and the railways do much of their construction work at night. They also say that the noise would be too great in the nearby suburb of Kyeemagh, but they don’t mind blasting that suburb with jet arrivals from 5 am, or even earlier with jet engine testing. There are many ways to design a bridge and many ways to build one. Sydney Airport must make the effort and be prepared to spend the money to do the work during the night curfew and keep the runway open during normal hours. The airport has failed to find the technical solution to allow the work to be carried out during the curfew period. They have also failed to organise construction with quiet machinery to limit the noise into the nearest suburb of Kyeemagh. Macquarie Bank has cut costs and ramped up passenger charges at Sydney Airport to maximise their profits and must now pay the extra expense of carrying out the safety work in an environmentally acceptable manner. The East West runway at Sydney Airport should be kept open to save residents north of the airport from up to 17 hours a day non-stop aircraft noise. The runway closure would be a taste of things to come if Macquarie Bank is able to continue expanding Sydney Airport, with noise sharing overtaken by operating at near to maximum capacity all day. The East West runway can only take 45 flights per hour, above that, the airport must use the two North South Runways. The whole fiasco shows the folly of continuing with an inner city airport. Let Sydney Airport know what you think. Submissions to the Major Development Plan will be received until 18 June. Go to the NAN website and click on ACT NOW or write to Mr. Ted Plummer, Manager - Major Projects Consultation and Communications, Sydney Airport Corporation Limited, Locked Bag 5000, Sydney International Airport NSW 2020.Albanese’s challenge – protect your electorate ahead of Sydney Airport Now that he is the Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese has a dual responsibility. Albanese is also the member for Grayndler, the noisiest electorate in Australia. He must now send Sydney Airport back to the drawing board again as their runway closure plan is an outrageous imposition on people north of the airport. Albanese recently told the Daily Telegraph that engineering advice meant that the East West runway would be closed, despite the public consultation by Sydney Airport. He should not prejudge the outcome of the process that he insisted the airport undertake.
“Community” forum closed to community and media The first meeting on February 15 of the new Labor appointed Sydney Airport “Community” Forum was closed to the public and the media. The new Rudd Labor Government had promised open government, but the Transport Minister closed this important meeting. Like the former Liberal Government, Labor has carefully selected the members of the forum to give itself a majority. Only two of the members, from Kurnell and Canterbury, are community members, the rest are local, state or federal politicians. Former Labor Marrickville Mayor, Cr Barry Cotter was appointed as a “community” member and former Labor South Sydney Mayor Vic Smith was appointed to chair the meeting. Smith is also the Administrator of Walgett Shire. Slow search for a second airport Labor will not start searching for a second Sydney airport site until after the next Sydney Airport Master Plan is completed late next year. That’s waiting two years after taking office to even start looking for a new site. Transport Minister Albanese has released a Green Paper on Australian Aviation, see http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/nap/index.aspx. Albanese wants to hold out the false hope that Labor will one day stop dumping on its safe inner city seats. There is no need to wait until after the next Sydney Airport Master Plan is completed next year, we already know that there is an outrageous increase in noise from the current master Plan. Labor’s aviation policy is to “develop an integrated Sydney Transport Plan that provides for Sydney’s future airport needs, including a preferred second Sydney airport site outside the Sydney basin. Labor will maintain the cap and curfew at [Sydney] Kingsford Smith Airport and implement the Long Term Operating plan maximizing take offs over water”. Any new airport should be assessed as a replacement for the existing inefficient and noisy monster. The danger with a second airport is that it can be used to maximise the main airport by taking small aircraft out and taking the peak hour overflow. Short term planning with 10 or 20 year horizons allows continuing “patch up” development like the third runway fiasco at Sydney Airport. A long term approach would look at the airport in context with the city’s needs for the future. Qantas copping fines and gaol for freight cartelA former Qantas executive has pleaded guilty to charges relating to a cartel of airlines which colluded to set air freight prices between Australia and the US. Bruce McCaffrey, who will spend eight months in a US gaol, is the former Qantas head of freight in the US. Australian based Qantas executives will not face extradition to the US, as price fixing is not a criminal offence in Australia.Qantas was fined $US61million after admitting to a US court that it was part of the cartel. The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is investigating Qantas and may take action about other price fixing. A class action for $A200 million has been launched against Qantas, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and British Airways by Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn.November, 2007 Volume 12, Issue 3 (including Special Federal Election Update) Federal elections 2007: No Hope versus False Hope The Liberal Government is offering no hope for future reductions in aircraft noise. They’ve done all they’re going to do and they’ve dumped most of the noise onto Labor electorates. By diverting take offs to the north west while over the Labor seat of Lowe, they have reduced the noise over Bennelong and North Sydney, held by Howard and Hockey. Howard approved Macquarie Bank’s Master Plan for Sydney Airport which aims to triple passenger numbers and massively increase the noise over the next twenty years. It will also concentrate noise north of the airport again as the east west runway can only be used when flights are below 45 per hour. In addition the Liberals have privatized the general aviation airport at Bankstown and allowed the new owners to plan for commercial flights. Again they have dumped the noise onto Labor electorates and by choosing a small airport for Sydney’s second airport, they have ensured that all the big jets stay in the inner city. No hope from the Liberals. Labor’s policy is to “develop an integrated Sydney Transport Plan that provides for Sydney’s future airport needs, including a preferred second Sydney airport site outside the Sydney basin. Labor will maintain the cap and curfew at [Sydney] Kingsford Smith Airport and implement the Long Term Operating plan maximizing take offs over water” Local Labor members, when pressed, will point to the second airport plan to identify a site, but that is only a false hope. Labor will still allow Macquarie Bank to carry out its Master Plan which is possible under the cap and curfew limitations. Macquarie will push the airlines to use larger aircraft and try to lever smaller regional aircraft out to Bankstown. Labor parliamentarians opposed the Master Plan, but nothing in Labor’s policy will prevent it. In the long term, the only solution to ever worsening aircraft noise over Sydney suburbs is to move the airport outside the city, our policy which is supported by the Greens. This airport is making us sick - Jets raise blood pressure in Kurnell A study by Sydney academics has found that people in Kurnell are more likely to have higher chronic noise stress and blood pressure as a result of aircraft noise. Kurnell was compared to a similar demographic suburb at South Penrith, which is not affected by aircraft noise. Kurnell was chosen as it experiences noise above 70 decibels (dBA) more than fifty times a day. 70 decibels is enough to interrupt conversations inside a house. The study used a detailed questionnaire to ask people about their health problems and screen out other reasons for high blood pressure, like smoking or being overweight. The World Health Organisation’s definition that “health includes physical, psychological and social well being” was used as the starting point for the research. The authors state that existing noise measurements “underestimate the social impact of aircraft noise because health effects have been ignored when formulating environmental management plans at airports.” Suburbs with similar noise from jets stretch from Drummoyne to Kurnell on the north south flight paths and from Rockdale to Daceyville on the east west flight paths. Good medicine – bad public policy The study looked at the possible ways to remove or reduce aircraft noise – relocating the airport “as in fact was achieved in Hong Kong and Jakarta.” But they said it’s hard to find a new site and the commercial interests in the present airport make closure unlikely. The study suggests a return to concentrating noise on the north – south runways as a way of reducing the number of people affected, but don’t mention that this makes extreme noise in those suburbs. What about extending the quiet period of the curfew by two hours and making the quiet time from 10 pm to 7am. But this would take out up to 160 flights a day from the private owners who would want compensation. Similarly extending the noise insulation scheme would be extremely costly. “The benefits of an improvement to the quality of life of residents, community facilities and educational establishments would have to be calculated to argue for the enormous costs of this extra building insulation scheme.” However, the researchers want to try relaxation techniques and Mental Silence based Sahaja Yoga Meditation to see if that helps residents cope with the noise. How they are going to find yoga teachers for 150,000 people has yet to be explained. Would residents have free classes and would they be compensated for their time? This proposal is another example of dumping the problem on the victims instead of reducing the pollution at its source. Climate Change to Limit Aviation’s Future?In 1999 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that the aviation industry accounted for 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in 1992, but that this would rise to as much as 15% by 2050.The cost of air transport has decreased rapidly over the years, and air travel is growing at about 5% a year. Hence it is not surprising to find emissions from aviation growing faster than any other industry sector. To make matters worse, air travel produces far more carbon dioxide (CO2), than any other form of public transport. Its not just the CO2, jet contrails have a surprisingly big effect on the climate, so much so that restrictions on night flights has been suggested as a way of easing aviation industry’s contribution to global warming.The environmental damage caused by planes is not being paid for, and environmentalists are justifiably angry, complaining that airlines get a free ride when it comes to environmental taxes. Indeed as a aircraft fuel is taxed no more than 2.5c a litre, the free ride extends beyond that of the environment. With global warming becoming a very big issue, airline company realise that they are in the firing line.In mid 2007, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), urged the aerospace industry to develop a passenger aircraft with zero carbon emissions within the next 50 years. It is hard to see this happening. Giovanni Bisignani, the director general of IATA, said that aviation’s carbon footprint was growing, and that was not politically acceptable for any industry.In September, Qantas and Jetstar became the latest airlines to join the rush to improve their green credentials. The airlines introduced a voluntary scheme whereby all contributions are to go towards multiple abatement programs, which may include energy efficiency measures, generation of renewable energy and tree planting projects. There is an added bonus for airlines in buying green credits, because it is a tax write-off in Australia.Critics say these carbon offset programs do not have a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions, but just relieve the guilty consciences of air travellers because they pay a fee. Greenpeace argues that these schemes avoid the real problem, and that the solution should be about reducing the number of flights. Short trips are of particular concern, a 747 for example, uses 16 tonnes of fuel to take-off, the equivalent of running six family cars for a year. Jeff Angel, from the Total Environment Centre, made a striking point when he said it would take 40-50 years for trees to capture the carbon emissions. Eyes on the prize: what chance to move Sydney Airport? There are four possible options for the future of airports for Sydney: one big airport at the present Mascot site
One big airport at Mascot This limits the economic benefit of aviation as the site is smaller than required and is limited by the necessity of a night time curfew to allow residents some seven quiet hours