German court says Frankfurt curfew means no planes A deal with the affected community to build a fourth runway at Frankfurt Airport in Germany included a promise of a curfew from 11 pm to 5 am. The airlines thought they could continue to operate 17 flights overnight and were encouraged by the state government which had made the deal.The state court held that the curfew meant that zero flights were allowed during the curfew period. Employees of Lufthansa have been threatened with losing their jobs after the German national airline failed to make new arrangements to cope with the curfew.There is an appeal to the German High Court which will be heard during 2012.Virgin boss wants maximum growth and to “adjust” the curfewJohn Borghetti, the boss of Virgin Airlines recently said, “I don’t know that there are many cities around the world that are fortunate to have an airport within 8km of the city…So I see that as a strong asset, and I see that as something we should try to find a way of growing, not shrinking.”“Now that said, there are constraints, all sorts of constraints. Obviously there are caps of movements per hour, which are there for various reasons. There are constraints in terms of land and terminal space.”“How do we free up more capacity at the current Sydney airport so that we maximise it as much as possible. Whether that’s increasing the movement cap or adjust the curfew, or changing the type of airplanes that fly there.”“It’s a difficult question because there are all sorts of different interests involved from political to infrastructure… But it is a big issue and it’s an issue I think impacts tourism, it impacts domestic travel. To get up and say, ‘let’s build another airport and shut this one’, or take half the services from this one and put it into that one, I think that’s a pretty bold move because you’re giving up something that other cities would kill for…a location so close. It facilitates business so easily.”Borghetti also thanked Transport Minister Albanese for allowing Virgin to break the curfew during Qantas lockout. A Virgin jet was recorded at 74dBA (decibels) above Leichhardt at 11.30pm on October 30. This noise was 34 decibels above the background at that time of night and disturbed thousands of sleeping peopleEditorial: A livable city A city is more than a business district and an airport; it is a place for people, a place for healthy and enjoyable living. Mr Borghetti doesn’t seem to understand the reasons for the “constraints” he wants to change – they are there precisely because Sydney has an inner city airport.The curfew, which is only 7 hours long, is there because people need uninterrupted sleep every night. The movements cap was introduced when there were so many planes flying over the inner west that people revolted and the politicians decided to limit the impact of jets on our homes, schools and public buildings.There are also limits on what can be built on the flight paths, standards that the councils enforce on developers and home builders. But the aviation industry, the airport and successive governments have ignored these standards and allowed the noise to continue rising.If you look at the noise maps in the airport’s Master Plan and read the land use standards on the corner of the maps, you can see that a huge area of Sydney is already subject to aircraft noise above the limits set. Borghetti and the aviation industry would make it worse, but we won’t let them.That’s why No Aircraft Noise continues to say that the airport should be moved outside of the city, connected by a rail service to allow business types and everyone else to have good access.Airport boss chairs Botany region transport committee Less than 10% of Port Botany containers are being moved by train, with trucks jamming local and regional roads. The NSW Liberal government has dropped the target for containers on trains from 40% to 28%, saying the former Labor government’s target was unrealistic. The government has appointed Max Moore-Wilton to head a working group to recommend improvements to Botany region transport.It’s a bit easy to predict what a committee headed by the chairman of Sydney Airport will recommend for transport in the Port Botany region. The airport wants a lot more motorways to deliver customers to the airport’s car parks.The idea of dropping the ticket surcharge to the airport railway stations is a good one, as we don’t want the airport making as much pollution on the ground as it does in the air. Why isn’t the public involved in finding the best transport solution for Sydney?
Sydney Airport denied that it wants more people to drive to the airport. “Sydney Airport has long campaigned for the removal of station access fees to the two airport stations. We have also called for the expansion of bus services to the airport, as well as introduced free parking at both the terminals - ours is the only capital city airport to do so”, a spokesman wrote to the Herald.Sydney Airport’s 2009 Master Plan states that the airport encourages the NSW government to “improve motorway connections to Sydney Airport, through regional links such as the M4 Extension and improvements to the M5 East Motorway,” along with improvements to public transport.
Developers worried but not the airport Developers are concerned that restrictions on building new homes in high noise areas may be tightened, but Sydney Airport isn’t worried because they have been allowed to increase noise into unaffected areas by Liberal and Labor governments. This is fantastic hypocrisy – the polluter is allowed to increase pollution, but the restrictions fall on those who are polluted.Developer lobby the Urban Taskforce told the Herald that if the existing ANEF (Australian Noise Exposure Forecast) system was changed, developments like Green Square and Victoria Park would not be allowed.Above 25 ANEF new housing is not acceptable even with noise insulation. A possible new N70 system may increase the prohibited area by 185 square kilometres where aircraft noise went above 70 decibels more than an average of 10 times a day. The federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese intends to keep the current planning system.The airport’s 2029 Master Plan predicts the noise will be above the 20 ANEF limit for homes without noise insulation on flight paths out to Hunters Hill, Croydon, Randwick, Hurstville and Kurnell.The airport should comply with the standards or move out.No takers for $1.27 million airport job Sydney Airport was unable to find a suitable outside applicant for the post of Managing Director, despite a world wide search. They had to appoint Kerry Mather, the head of MAp (formerly called Macquarie Airports) which owns 74% of the airport. Mather keeps her job as MAp CEO and its $1.7 million salary, but doesn’t get the extra $1.27 million for doing the second job.St Peters gas drilling could disrupt Sydney Airport Inner Sydney residents are angry at the proposed coal seam gas drilling next to Sydney Park, but a production well could disrupt flights for several days every few years. A Queensland farmer, who is campaigning against gas drilling on his farm, told residents there was a 5km aircraft exclusion zone around a gas well when the pumps were changed.May 2011 Volume 16, Issue 1Albanese admits Sydney Airport cannot cope The Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese has admitted again that the airport cannot cope with the expected increase in traffic. Albanese told the Sydney Morning Herald that “Sydney needs a second airport sooner rather than later. Without action the national economy will be constrained with a negative impact on growth and jobs.”An analysis by the consultants Booz and Company shows that bad weather will cause increasing delays at Sydney Airport, which will flow on to disrupt flights throughout the country. By 2020 a strong crosswind during two hours of the morning peak would cause delays over the following five hours. The analysis was prepared for a federal government inquiry into a second airport.Paul Fitzgerald, former Marrickville Greens councillor, wrote in a letter to the Herald: “Sydney does not need a second airport. It needs a replacement airport.”“A second airport would make things far worse for the people who live under Sydney Airport’s flight paths because it would allow aircraft smaller than jets to be removed. The 27 percent of air traffic capacity that is now taken by those planes would then be available for large jets – which are noisier, more polluting and more dangerous.”“If a replacement airport were built outside the Sydney basin and connected by fast train, the site of the current airport could become a residential and employment precinct.”Albanese has ruled out consideration of a replacement airport which means he is failing to even look at the most viable alternative.Noise limits artificial says Sydney Airport Sydney Airport is constrained by an 80 movements an hour cap, intended to limit the noise impact on residents. The slot manager said there is increasing pressure on peak hour slots with seven hours a day when airlines want more than 80 flights per hour.Sydney Airport’s response is to ask for the cap to be lifted in a submission to the Productivity Commission. “The 80 movements per hour cap is an arbitrary regulatory cap that does not reflect the capacity of the infrastructure at Sydney Airport,” they told the Herald. The airport would like regional aircraft exempted from the cap, so that they can cram more large noisy jets through in peak hours.Who cares about the noise which continues to rise? The noise from the airport is way above the Australian Standards for aircraft noise in residential areas, but these standards are not enforced on Australian airports.Sites named include Wilton Wilton, the best near city site for a major airport to replace the present inadequate operation, was named in the list in the second airport story. Wilton is just 20km south of Campbelltown and was assessed in 1985 as a possible site for a major second airport for Sydney. Unlike Badgerys Creek, it has not had large scale housing built nearby.Far out sites mentioned include Williamstown, north of Newcastle, and Canberra, both too far to be any use as a new Sydney airport. Suburban locations like Bankstown, Richmond and Camden have too much nearby housing for the existing small airports to take regular jet traffic.The Central Coast was also listed as a possible second airport site. There was a proposal in the 1990’s to expand the small airport at Warnervale, just north of Wyong. Wyong Council wanted a 24 hour airport with 65,000 flights a year. Residents took the council to court and lost, with costs awarded against them. The Carr Labor Government intervened, paid the residents costs and limited the airport’s size. There has been a lot of new housing in the area since then.Sydney Airport owners accused of avoiding tax in Denmark Denmark’s largest broadsheet “Politiken” has published allegations against MAp Airports (part owner of Copenhagen airport and main shareholder in Sydney Airport), of exploiting a tax loophole. MAp is accused of avoiding withholding tax to the tune of $100m on earnings from the country’s main airport at Copenhagen. Map was previously known as Macquarie Airports, before it paid the parent company, Macquarie Bank, $345 million to cease managing it.The three major stakeholders in the airport are MAp (30.8% and formerly managed by Macquarie Group), the Danish Government (39%), and a Macquarie-managed fund called Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 3 (26.9%). The allegations which are being investigated have been denied by the chairman of Copenhagen Airport and by MAp.Make public transport to the airport cheaper The NSW Labor Government started subsidising fares on the privately owned rail line to the airport just before it left office. This move resulted in more people using the line as ticket prices are now the same as on other rail lines. However the only stations subsidised were Green Square and Mascot, not the two airport stations.Recent NSW Parliamentary Budget Office analysis suggests that buying the rail line would be a better deal than subsidising the private owners for the extra cost of the fares on an ongoing basis. The price tag for the rail line is expected to be $300m or less.What better way to increase usage of the rail line? Fares would be cheaper for now and the future. If the rail line is more popular with airport users, the roads to the airport will be less congested, and we will have less cars parking at the airport for exorbitant rates.Dick Smith safe in Terry Hills Aviation personality and Terry Hills resident, Dick Smith, has promoted the big quiet planes myth. In a letter to the Herald, he said “a stable population, coupled with quieter and larger aircraft, would render Sydney Airport sufficient for our long-term needs.” For Dick’s information, the big new “quiet” Airbus A380 is right up there with all the other regular noisy jets, but is slightly quieter than the Boeing 747, a design whose first version flew in the 1970’s.Airport monopoly allows price gouging Sydney Airport sits on a monopoly. There is no alternative if you want to fly into or out of Sydney. So they are able to put up prices for services like parking and get away with it.Having a monopoly also means they do not have to provide a good service, or provide for all Sydney’s air traffic needs. Privatisation does not work with a monopoly which is only partly regulated. December 2010 Volume 15, Issue 3Curfew and cap under pressure as airport fills up fast Sydney Airport is running out of capacity even faster than was earlier forecast. The crisis point will be reached first in the peak hours when the demand runs over the cap which is set at 80 movements an hour.An analysis of a BITRE (Bureau of infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics) report by the Sydney Morning Herald said the cap would be breached within eight years, unless the federal government acted to prevent this.The cap legislation may not be enforceable as it only requires Air Services Australia to report breaches of the cap to the minister.There have already been seven breaches during 2010, when the cap had only been exceeded once in the previous nine years.Qantas and Virgin Blue both want the cap lifted and the curfew eased to allow more aircraft through Sydney Airport. The Sydney Airport (Regulation of Movements) Bill 1996 set out to cap movements in order to limit the noise imposed on residents.Grayndler marginal as Transport Minister loses 9%Aircraft noise was a big factor in the 9.37% swing against Labor’s ineffective Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.The Greens candidate, Sam Byrne, said the airport should be moved out of Sydney, while Albanese didn’t mention aircraft noise at all in his campaign literature.The Greens vote increased by 7.26% in Grayndler which has been abandoned to a relentless increase in aircraft movements by its local member.No Aircraft Noise distributed 40,000 leaflets to homes in the electorate, urging a vote for the Greens. The swing against Albanese was higher in the noisier areas of Grayndler.Albanese now holds the seat by only 4.23% above the Greens, who received most of the Liberal voters’ preferences.People, planning or profit? Three ways to move the airport People: The airport should be moved to protect the people of Sydney from its relentless expansion of noise and pollution. If people really mattered, then no government would continue to ignore our human rights to a decent quality of life and flout the land use recommendations of the ANEF system.As affected people, we must apply continuing pressure to protect ourselves. Thanks to the Greens’ and NAN’s efforts, the noisiest electorate in Australia is now a marginal seat. This puts pressure on the Labor Party to act on moving the airport.Planning: If planning for the future ever became a priority for NSW and federal governments, the airport would be moved outside the city. Sydney would gain a decent airport, able to handle all future traffic and decent living conditions for all.The nearest practical site is near Wilton, 20 km south of Campbelltown. An Environmental Impact Study should assess its suitability as Sydney’s only airport. The new airport would be connected to Sydney and Wollongong using fast electric trains.The old airport site would provide 900 hectares of prime bay side land for new housing, parkland and employment.Profit: Greed is the big mover in Sydney. Greedy banks, greedy developers, greedy motorway operators and greedy corporations are always trying to increase their profits. As the land value of the airport site increases, they will want to redevelop it to cash in.One way or another, the airport has to move.Qantas near disaster would have hit north of Parramatta Just 20 km from takeoff in Singapore, a giant Qantas Airbus A380 had an engine blow up and parts were scattered on the Indonesian island of Batam. Two people were injured and a school damaged on November 4. If the plane had been taking off to the north in Sydney, the engine parts would most likely have come down just north of Parramatta.Fifty alarms went off in the cockpit as engine parts ripped through the wing. The Airbus had to land at Singapore 50 tonnes over its maximum landing weight. It was still not safe as fuel kept pouring from the damaged wing. One engine could not be turned off and four tyres had blown.Qantas can’t keep the GST from no shows and cancellations Qantas wanted to avoid paying the GST from fares on cancelled or missed flights, where the passenger did not receive a refund. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that Qantas must pay the tax. Just because Qantas did not actually carry a passenger did not mean that they had not made a “supply” under the GST laws.Noise sharing not working At the Marrickville Town Hall candidates meeting, Albanese boasted that noise sharing targets for the week ended 6 August had almost been reached. It was down to 19% from the usual 25 to 30% for flights north of the airport.The voters at the meeting reacted with angry disbelief that this meant that aircraft noise had been reduced to an acceptable level.There have been just three weeks in his term as Transport Minister that the noise has been within 5% of the target for north of the airport. August had 21.6% flights to the north and it was back up to 25.6% in September.Under the airport’s 2029 Master Plan, approved last year by Albanese, the airport will operate from 6.30 in the morning to 9.30 at night using the two North – South runways, meaning that noise sharing will no longer be possible.Noise sharing is a limited idea and masks the reality that the total noise dumped on Sydney’s people will increase as flights go from 280,000 in 2007 to a massive 420,000 in 2029.AAugust 2010 Volume 15, Issue 2Curfew under attack as airlines blast through the fog Airlines, including Qantas, are pushing a loophole in the curfew law and flying over the inner west when we are supposed to be left in peace. Landing from over Botany Bay is allowed between 5 and 6 am. But these planes have attempted to land in the fog and when they find they don’t have enough visibility (surprise!) they fly on over the inner west waking people as they go.A loophole in the curfew law means they get away with this outrageous attack on our sleep. This happened last September when Qantas and British Airways tried to land during the dust storm and then flew around the inner west before 6 am. Transport minister Albanese has not changed the law to close this loophole.On Thursday 29 July there were five flights before 6 am. Two planes, a Lear jet from Adelaide and a Qantas 747 jumbo jet actually made two unsuccessful attempts to land, flying on over the suburbs each time. The following day there were more planes before 6 am as the pilots tried to land in the fog.This must stop! The curfew law must be amended so that aircraft are not allowed to land before 6 am if the weather means they cannot do so safely. Albanese is fast asleep and has failed to stop this outrage. Qantas and other airlines don’t think there should be a curfew anyway, because their modern planes are so quiet. See the story below about aviation apologist Tom Ballantyne.New air navigation system threatens more political flight paths A new navigation system, based on satellite navigation will be introduced into Australian airports. Sydney residents were not informed, even though agreements have been signed several years ago.Unlike the present set up where aircraft follow a long straight flight path when landing, the new system allows curved and dog leg flight paths. The final approach to an airport can be joined as close as 2 kilometres to the end of the runway. Planes can fly almost any path on landing as well as take off.This gives new opportunities for political manipulation of flight paths, where flight paths could be kept off marginal electorates and dump on safe seats. Flight paths could change with every new federal government. All suburbs within 20 km of the airport are at risk.A US company has won a $10 million contract with the federal government to set up new flight paths for 28 Australian airports. The satellite based system called Required Performance Navigation allows extremely precise flying on predetermined paths logged into the aircraft’s computers.The suburbs nearest the airport will always cop the noise as planes line up for final approach. The Labor held seats of Grayndler, Barton and Kingsford-Smith are closest to the airport and will cop the worst noise until the airport is moved out of Sydney. Aircraft noise is mainly a Labor problem, but Labor has failed to solve it.There is plenty of precedent for political manipulation of flight paths. Labor aimed the third runway at the safe seat of Grayndler, taking it off the marginal seats of Barton and Phillip (since abolished in a redistribution). The Howard Liberal Government moved the take off flight paths away from Howard’s seat of Bennelong, sacrificing the seat of Lowe (now Reid) held by Liberal back bencher Zammit.Airservices Australia first told the government’s Sydney Airport Community (politicians) Forum of the new system in Decenber last year. Until then, Airservices had avoided reporting on the 2007 conference of the International Civil Aviation Organisation which mandated the introduction of this technology.Airservices had planned to introduce RPN into Sydney before the end of this year. Transport Minister Albanese said that consultation had begun with SACF and the system would not be introduced unless in assisted in fairer noise sharing.New hope from new technology A near city airport could use RPN technology to avoid towns and villages with flght paths weaving between inhabited areas. This is done at Munich which moved their airport out of the city in 1995. For 40 km before landing, planes follow a twisting path to avoid towns and villages in the German countryside.The suburb of Kurnell, which stands alone on a peninsula across Botany Bay from the airport, could be avoided by aircraft using the new system. There is no possible flight path around suburbs north, east and west of the airport, the only way to avoid them is to move the airport out of the city.Air Services tells residents not to complain too much At the recent Senate Inquiry into noise sharing, Air Services bureaucrat Matt Wardell complained that some noise affected people were complaining too much.Summer Hill resident Johann Heinrich has a noise meter connected to his computer. Monitoring the noise, Johann makes a list each day of planes which make too much noise and faxes the list to Air Services and Federal Ministers Anthony Albanese (Transport) and Peter Garrett (Environment). How can they deny that his complaints are reasonable when he has measured the noise?Air Services complaint line is just a sink for complaints. The noise is above the limit on any measure, but we are expected to cop it sweet.Federal elections comment Only the Greens stand for ending Sydney’s aircraft noise nightmare. Labor and Liberal both approved massive expansion of Sydney Airport – they both ignore the rights of Sydney people to a safe, peaceful and healthy environment. To put either of the big parties ahead of the Greens when you vote is to say “that’s all right, I’ll be a willing victim”.The Greens agree with No Aircraft Noise that the airport must be moved out of our city. They do not have a preferred site as we do with Wilton, but they have the correct principle – the airport is too big for the city and must be moved.We know from their actions that the preferred airport site for Liberal and Labor is at Mascot. Labor offers the false hope of a second airport, while being careful not to promise that it would reduce noise in the city. A second airport would be used to move small panes out of Mascot, leaving us with the big jets and more noise than ever.There is no hope at all from the Liberal Party which doesn’t even have a Sydney Airport policy on their website. They privatised Bankstown Airport as well as Sydney and their unstated policy is to use Bankstown to take the small regional aircraft out of Mascot.But there is hope – Sydney Airport is unable to provide for all of our aviation needs and soon a decision must be made. The airport is inefficient and can only operate with a curfew. The land is needed for urban consolidation – new suburbs, new workplaces and new parks will be a much better use of scarce inner city land. A new airport outside the city will be efficient, operate 24 hours and be connected by fast train to the city.The noisiest place in Australia is the electorate of Grayndler in the inner west. A safe seat is a dangerous place and as long as Grayndler is a safe Labor seat, Labor will think it’s safe to dump aircraft noise on us. The election in Grayndler is a two horse race - only Labor or Greens can win this seat. Labor has taken us for granted and approved the expansion of Sydney airport.If you are voting in Grayndler, make sure you put Sam Byrne of the Greens ahead of Labor when you number all the squares on the ballot paper.Greens push Very Fast Train The Greens want a Very Fast Train to be built between Sydney and Melbourne which would transfer a lot of plane trips onto the rail. Sydney to Melbourne is the busiest air route in Australia and the fifth busiest in the world. Rail would reduce greenhouse gases generated by travellers between the two cities.A VFT could link an out of Sydney airport to the city on the way to Canberra and Melbourne. This would make travel times to the new airport fast enough to easily replace the present airport.Aviation apologists in fairy land “Airlines argue privately that Sydney Airport’s cap of 80 movements an hour has passed its "use-by" date and that the night curfew is nonsense because the noise footprint of modern aircraft is contained within the airports perimeter,” Orient Aviation magazine writer Tom Ballantyne wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.Noise monitoring shows that current generation aircraft are way too noisy for residential areas. The latest pin up aircraft of the low noise argument is the giant Airbus A380. Over Leichhardt the A380 is above 81dBA (decibels), when we need to be below 70 in the day and 60 at night to be acceptable under the Australian Standards. As far out as Hunters Hill the A380 is still above 74dBA.The daily experience of thousands of Sydney people is that both new and old jets wake you up, disrupt your conversations, interfere with schooling and, as the Kurnell study showed, increase people’s blood pressure.
March 2010 Volume 15, Issue 1Aviation White Paper – ineffective minister postpones action In December the Federal Government’s Aviation White Paper was released, exposing Labor’s lack of planning for our future. A joint NSW and Federal Government “Task Force” will look at Sydney’s air traffic needs and report by the middle of 2011, further delaying any decision. Albanese has laboured for two years in office and only produced two reports and another committee. By contrast the Hawke Government had examined 10 sites and produced EIS’s for a major second airport at Badgerys Creek or Wilton after two years in office. But Hawke later decided to build a third runway at Sydney Airport rather than build a second Sydney airport. Over 13 years Labor bought up the land and announced 3 different airports for Badgerys Creek, but never turned the second sod.HawhH The ministerial go slow on another airport allows the present Sydney Airport to expand to bursting point, especially as Albanese recently approved their 20 year Master Plan. Albanese admitted that neither Sydney Airport nor Sydney residents could cope with the predicted increase in air traffic, noise and pollution. So he agrees with NAN that the present airport cannot cope and that it is a major polluter, but he won’t take the next step to move it out of the city. The White Paper says that future airport planning will prevent new housing on flight paths at new airports. Albanese has not acted to prevent development approved by the NSW Government at Tralee on Canberra airport’s flight path. In a monstrous hypocrisy, Australian noise standards are enforced on the community, but not on the aviation industry, which will continue to impose higher noise zones on existing residential populations. In his maiden speech Albanese said, “In the longer term, however, the solution must be to lower the number of aircraft movements over the inner west. It must not be forgotten that this area is the most densely populated in Australia.” (Hansard 1996) Liberal Party policy is to put all flights through Sydney Airport for the next few decades. In 2005, the Howard Government decided not to look for a second airport site. The Greens want Sydney Airport moved outside the Sydney basin.Pushing out the smaller aircraft as traffic keeps building Sydney Airport cannot cope with the expanding air traffic and wants to move regional flights out of the peak hour and out of the airport altogether. (See Sydney Airport’s submission to the Aviation White Paper) Analysis of the numbers of jet and non-jet aircraft using Sydney Airport shows that smaller aircraft are being replaced by larger noisier jets.
The NSW Government’s plan to double the tunnels on the M5 motorway will create an 8 lane car park leading to Sydney Airport’s parking stations. They want to waste $4.5 billion on a plan that will create greater congestion in the inner city and divert money from fixing the overloaded city rail and freight rail networks.The Southern Cross drive cannot take any more traffic from the M5 and the local roads around St Peters cannot cope with the extra traffic from the proposed new arterial road connected to the M5.Sydney Airport will welcome the extra traffic to their parking stations, the airport’s main source of revenue. They have built one 12 storey car park at the International Terminal and gained approval from the former Howard Government to build another one.In addition to the air pollution from the large jets at Mascot, increasing car traffic will worsen our air quality. The Carr/Iemma/Rees/Keneally State Labor government has built lots of motorways, but has failed to solve Sydney’s growing transport crisis.End