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No Aircraft Noise News 2016, Volume 21, Issue 2 December 2016         

High density housing planned for final approach flight path

 The Inner West Council has sought community consultation on the radical re-zoning of industrial areas along Victoria Road, Marrickville for high density housing.  This is a terrible idea as it will change the face of Marrickville and subject future residents to unacceptable levels of aircraft noise (within the 30-35 ANEF area and only suitable for industrial uses). 

NAN put in a submission outlining our concerns on building new residences under the final approach flight path which would be a nightmare for future residents.  Additionally, with some of the proposed buildings at 14 storeys or 50 metres high surely would be a flight obstacle risk. 

NAN believes this developer pushed proposal is NOT in the best interest for the community, current and future residents and is another example of poor strategy destroying the integrity of our planning system.

Western Sydney Airport Final EIS

The final Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released in September, 2016 which included a few significant changes for Western Sydney but offers little relief to Sydney residents who will continue to bear the majority of the aircraft noise even after the new airport is operational.

Western Sydney Airport will commence operations in the mid-2020s as a regional airport (domestic, international and air freight) serving mainly Western Sydney.   Sydney Airport Ground Transport Plan of 2006 indicates that only 11% of passengers start or end their journeys in Western Sydney.  Hence, growth of flights from the Western Sydney Airport will be slow as it is aligned to future population growth in Western Sydney. 

The final EIS contains significant changes from the draft EIS to reflect government decisions made in response to the submissions, key elements are:there will not be a single merge point over Blaxland; and


  • sets out principles in relation to flight paths with no single merge point over any residential community; and
  • outlines a preferred options for ‘head to head operations’ during evening hours (11 pm to 6 am) as a means of minimising the number of homes affected by aircraft noise at night. Head to head operations will involve flights both taking off to, and landing from, the southwest of the runway in circumstances where it is safe to do so. There is more detailed work to do to analyse weather patterns and assess safety considerations, but indications are that this operating mode could be available greater than 80 per cent of the time; and
  • additional environmental protection conditions for the Blue Mountains Heritage area were required.  (The Environment Minister has outlined these recently after the issue of the final EIS.) 
Flight path impacts to Sydney Airport flight paths are still not known as flight path design for the entire Sydney Basin needs to be completed.  Our question remains on how any changed flight paths will impact the Long Term Operating Plan (LTOP) which has been to spread Sydney Airport aircraft noise and not concentrate it on any one community.

The Turnbull Government will establish a community and stakeholder reference group, Western Sydney Airport (FoWSA), to ensure community views are taken into account, particularly in relation to the airspace design process.  NAN believes that the Sydney Basin is one airspace and that the scope of the existing Sydney Airport Community Forum should be extended to incorporate both airports to prevent any “divide and rule” approach to managing the negative impacts of an airport in our midst.  Both community forums are made up of the aviation industry, community, state and local government bodies, and local tourism bodies. NAN attends the Sydney Airport Community Forum as an observer only.

Work is underway to prepare the airport site, including clearing some structures and securing the site. Building and upgrading roads in the region has also commenced.

Western Sydney Airport Rail Link confusion on which option


The Federal and NSW governments released a discussion paper on rail links for the Western Sydney Airport (WSA) at Badgerys Creek, outlining six options.  Five options are to improve train connections between Western Sydney and the other options to have a fast connection with Sydney.

Proposed direct rail lines:Connecting WSA to the new South West Rail Link in the Macarthur region:


  • Linking the airport to the existing the Sydney Metro north-west line;
  • Building a service between the WSA and Liverpool;
  • Creating a link between the airport and the T1 Western Line via St Marys;
  • A direct rail express service from WSA to Parramatta;
  • A north-south link from Macarthur to St Marys
NSW Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said the study is designed to meet the needs of the three million people who will be living in western Sydney in 20 years, supporting the Federal Government view that WSA is a regional airport only and not providing the aviation capacity increase stated as required by the joint study. 

There is talk on safeguarding the rail corridor once a rail option is selected but no funding is provided to preserve the corridor or build the rail infrastructure.

Preferred road M12 motorway corridor to serve Western Sydney Airport announced

Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure announced the new Western Sydney M12 Motorway will provide a direct link from the M7 Motorway to the proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. 

The 16 kilometre link will cost $3.6 billion which spends so much money that little will be available for better Western Sydney rail transport including the link to the new airport. An environmental impact statement is planned with community consultation in mid-2017.  The motorway is expected to be completed before the planned Western Sydney Airport opens in the mid-2020s.

Media reports increasing aircraft noise

During the second half of the year, media outlets contacted NAN about the increasing level of noise inflicted on residents north of the airport. In June, Channel 7 evening news showed a young family in their Ashfield backyard, where the reporter and interviewee had to stop speaking as a plane flew over their home. The gist of the item was that the targets of the Long Term Operating Plan have not been met and with the increase in flights, the noise suffered by residents to the north of the airport gets worse.

In September, the Southern Courier, the local paper covering inner suburbs to the south and east of Sydney, ran an article with a similar theme. A resident of Mascot complained about the increase in noise over his home. NAN was consulted and we were able to confirm that with the increase in numbers of flights, noise sharing modes were used less and less, as the airport uses the parallel runways more and more. In particular the Mascot resident had observed increased use of mode 9 where flights take off to the north on the third runway and veer to the east over Mascot.

The following month a NSW University student who resides in Mascot, interviewed us for a short video news item as an assignment. The clip is now on Youtube.  As with the prior two items, the configuration and location of Sydney Airport affect many people who live under its flight paths, and the issue is raised again and again.

Regional flights to challenge the cap on hourly movements

In recent months, media speculation has appeared which suggests increasing the movement cap applied at Sydney Airport from 80 to 85 movements per hour. The purpose of this proposal is to allow more slots for regional flights in peak times. At the most recent SACF meeting held on 4 November 2016, a representative from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development explained that there are additional slots available for regional flights but not in the peak times.

The small aircraft used by regional airlines disrupt traffic flow as they are slow and require greater separation to avoid wake turbulence from large jets. However people in regional areas have requirements for travel at peak times. The movement cap is there to limit the total noise imposed on residents and is set in legislation, so is not easily changed. SACF will be consulted regarding any proposed solutions to the regional airline slot problem.

UK Government approves next stage of Heathrow expansion

On 25 October, the British Conservative government approved a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.  The cost is estimated at 17.6 billion pounds.  Public consultation will be necessary and affected residents of West London, local councils, the Greater London Council and environmental groups are all challenging the decision.

The runway could be operational by 2025 and enabling legislation will be put to Parliament in 2017 or 2018.  A six and a half hour curfew is proposed, but the runway could allow up to 240,000 extra flights per year.

The decision to expand Heathrow comes six years after the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government scrapped the third runway idea.  The runway would be on the north west side of the airport and the privatised airport would demolish the village of Harmondsworth.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, told the Guardian that, “a new runway at Heathrow will be devastating for air quality across London – air pollution around the airport is already above legal levels of NO2."

“Heathrow already exposes more people to aircraft noise than Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich and Madrid combined. A third runway would mean an extra 200,000 people impacted, exposing 124 more schools and 43,200 more schoolchildren to an unacceptable level of noise.”

Tory MP Zac Goldsmith has resigned from Parliament to recontest the seat of Richmond Park as an independent opposed to the third runway. Labour and the Greens are not likely to nominate candidates to give the Liberal Democrats a chance to win the seat. The UK first past the post voting system means that a candidate with a low vote can get elected if their opposition is split.

End

No Aircraft Noise News 2016, Volume 21 Issue 1, APRIL 2016


Major issues with Badgery’s Creek Airport Draft EIS and Draft Airport Plan

The decision to build the Badgery’s Creek Airport was made by the Abbott government in April, 2014 to alleviate capacity constraints at Sydney Airport as reported in the Joint Study (2012).  Since this announcement there have been two major groups that have influenced the government on the scope and scale of Badgery’s Creek Airport, these being:

1. Extensive lobbying from the business council for more knowledge based jobs in Western Sydney with the Badgery’s Creek Airport heavily promoted to support the Western Sydney growth and jobs agenda. 

2. The mandatory consultation between Sydney Airport Corporation (SAC) and the government (as required by the Sydney Airport Corporation Privatisation Act) giving SAC the first right to own and operate the new airport thereby, safeguarding their regional monopoly primarily at their main airport.

Strangely, the draft EIS now defines Badgery’s Creek Airport as a regional airport to cater for ongoing growth in demand for travel particularly from the rapidly expanding Western Sydney region not the airport outlined in the Joint Study.

Why and when did the need for an additional airport change?  What are the implications on the Sydney region?

We can only guess that the extensive lobbying by the business council and the SAC consultation influenced Warren Truss to announce a regional airport only at Badgery’s Creek.  More worrying is the scope, scale and timing of capacity rollout at the airport. 
The decision to build the Badgery’s Creek Airport was made by the Abbott government in April, 2014 to alleviate capacity constraints at Sydney Airport as reported in the Joint Study (2012).  Since this announcement there have been two major groups that have influenced the government on the scope and scale of Badgery’s Creek Airport, these being:

1. Extensive lobbying from the business council for more knowledge based jobs in Western Sydney with the Badgery’s Creek Airport heavily promoted to support the Western Sydney growth and jobs agenda. 

2. The mandatory consultation between Sydney Airport Corporation (SAC) and the government (as required by the Sydney Airport Corporation Privatisation Act) giving SAC the first right to own and operate the new airport thereby, safeguarding their regional monopoly primarily at their main airport.

Strangely, the draft EIS now defines Badgery’s Creek Airport as a regional airport to cater for ongoing growth in demand for travel particularly from the rapidly expanding Western Sydney region not the airport outlined in the Joint Study.

Why and when did the need for an additional airport change?  What are the implications on the Sydney region?

We can only guess that the extensive lobbying by the business council and the SAC consultation influenced Warren Truss to announce a regional airport only at Badgery’s Creek.  More worrying is the scope, scale and timing of capacity rollout at the airport. 

Not a viable passenger airport

We do not believe the Badgery’s Creek Airport is scoped to be a viable passenger airport in the early stages based on the fact that the majority of people flying into or out of Sydney start or end their journeys within inner Sydney with only 11% of passengers starting or ending their journeys in Western Sydney suburbs (2006 Sydney Airport Ground Transport Plan).  Demographic change of the magnitude relied upon in the EIS for western suburb passenger growth to drive the use of the Western Sydney Airport will take decades to be achieved. 

The EIS transport plan is not adequate, as without a quick, convenient and cost effective rail link to the Sydney CBD, Sydney Airport and with interchange capability to greater Sydney including western suburbs hubs will result in limited passenger transport to the airport.  Quick and convenient access is especially important for peak hour flights.  The EIS ground transport plan based on the Sydney Airport Transport Plan is an invalid assumption because assuming the same mix of “Kiss and Fly”, “Park and Fly” and taxis passenger access to an airport 50 km from the CBD to an airport 8 km from the city is just not valid.

The government propose a market driven approach allowing airlines to “opt in” to using Western Sydney Airport but airlines will not choose to move or duplicate their infrastructure unless there is a tangible financial benefit or they do not have available slots or terminal space at Sydney Airport.  Airlines will defer cost wherever possible.  Hence, offered flight destinations at the new airport will be limited.  Why would passengers choose an airport that is difficult to access with limited destinations?  They won’t.

As slots in the peak hours at Sydney Airport are filled, new airline entrants will be the losers sent to Badgerys Creek.

Impact on Sydney region not known

Badgery’s Creek EIS flight paths are indicative because the Airspace Design is at conceptual level only.  This means that the impacts on Sydney Airport and Bankstown flight paths and resulting aircraft noise impacts on Sydney residents is not known.

The strategy to moving domestic flights to Western Sydney first will lead to Sydney Airport replacing domestic / regional flight slots with noisier international flights worsening aircraft noise in Sydney.

We are concerned that the EIS does not mention that areas around Western Sydney Airport or under its flight paths will have insulation if the aircraft noise exceeds the Australian Standard as defined in AS2021.  This standard outlines the day and night time noise acceptable for a reasonable life, but the standard is exceeded on the flight paths of the present Sydney Airport.
   
Government has a role to play

NAN believes that the airport as currently scoped in the EIS is not viable and will worsen aircraft noise in the Sydney region.  Therefore, we believe that the government has a role in ensuring that the new airport is used and viable and there is equity in fairly sharing the impact of aviation operations across the Sydney region.  To fairly share the impacts of aviation across Sydney, the government should:

1.    Implement a Sydney region wide noise sharing plan and monitor that the noise sharing targets are met.
2.    Keep Sydney Airport operations within the Long Term Operating Plan / new noise sharing plan by requiring flights to be moved to the new airport once noise levels and flight path usage limits are reached.
3.    Remove all curfew flights from the Sydney Airport Curfew to Western Sydney Airport as outlined in the Curfew Act.
4.    Remove the Sydney Airport shoulder period flights to use Western Sydney airport which is a 24 hour airport.  This will enable Western Sydney to take these international and domestic flights from day 1 of operations, making it viable from day 1.  It would return Sydney Airport to a true curfew. 

In summary, the Badgery’s Creek Airport as currently scoped in the EIS will worsen aircraft noise within the Sydney region, the EIS is narrowly focused on Western Sydney only and by exclusion of related Sydney region aviation changes, it does not consider Sydney residents as stakeholders in the new airport nor does it enable residents to understand how the new airport and related changes will impact them.

NAN believes the best strategy is to get a new airport, away from existing housing, to take all of Sydney’s air traffic and connected to the city by express trains with good connections to major Sydney and Western Sydney population areas.

Note:  This summary is from the No Aircraft Noise submission to the Draft Western Sydney Airport EIS.

NAN one big airport policy endorsed by former IATA boss

Outgoing International Air Transport Association CEO Tony Tyler has questioned the federal government’s decision not to close the existing airport at Mascot after Badgerys Creek is opened.

Sydney Morning Herald senior business reporter Jamie Freed quoted Tyler, “I am very glad to see Badgerys Creek nominated as the site. Now they are going to keep the other airport open.  That is perhaps a mixed blessing.  I don’t know how they plan to divide the traffic distribution. It is quite hard to think of a way that really works.”

Tyler said it was no doubt a complex decision for the government to make, but generally speaking other cities had proven it was better to have a single airport as a hub.

Sydney Airport is unable to handle the present peak hour traffic and is limited by a curfew, made necessary by the housing that surrounds it on three sides. If Sydney is to have an efficient single airport hub airport, then a new airport needs to be sited and designed appropriately to take all of Sydney’s passenger traffic.

The Herald reporter also quoted Malaysian Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller who said, “Right now you enjoy a fantastic airport [at Kingsford-Smith] but you are stuck in traffic when you want to go downtown.  In Kuala Lumpur, the airport is 70 kilometres from the city centre but the commute by train or car is so seamless that even if the distance is four times, it is faster."

No Aircraft Noise has always maintained that the best outcome for Sydney would be an airport outside the city to take all Sydney’s air traffic. Transfers between international and domestic flights are easier and airlines do not have to split their operations between two sites in the one city.  As in Kuala Lumpur, a fast rail connection into the city is essential.

Outspoken Qatar Airways CEO on Badgery’s Creek

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar CEO, gave his unique view on the proposed Badgery’s Creek Airport when interviewed on ABC’s The Business on 4 March. Mr Al Baker was visiting Sydney to launch direct services between Doha and the harbour city.

In the interview, "His Excellency" — as he likes to be addressed — ruled out using Sydney’s future second airport. The airport plans indicate it will have no curfews but no high-speed public transport links to the city either.

"As far as I’m concerned, I need to come in and out of an airport which is convenient to the general public," he told The Business.

"We want to make sure that the passengers that use the airport are not inconvenienced and all the amenities required by the passenger are available and I think that the [current] Sydney airport fits into that requirement.”

The Federal Government has indicated it is in no hurry to link the airport, due to be completed in 2025, to the CBD with a rail line, instead outlining ambitions to "eventually" get around to it.

Traffic worsens around Sydney Airport

Sydney Morning Herald of 11 April reports in summary that:

Despite a blueprint being unveiled in 2013, for improvements in Sydney’s bus network to and from Sydney Airport, it has now emerged that those policies are unlikely to be put in place before the end of the decade.

The improvements were to include better east-west and southern links to Kingsford Smith, more buses from the inner west and Bondi Junction and Kingsford to the airport, and a new route from Chatswood via the CBD.

The gridlock in the area prompted the Baird government to recently introduce immediate new traffic measures and “urge people to travel to Kingsford Smith by train instead of car”.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay put it bluntly last month when he said the situation on the roads near the airport "could only be described in technical terms as a bloody mess”.

The President’s 2015 update

As the president of No Aircraft Noise Party (NAN), I want to share an update on the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for those unable to attend our AGM in November.
I expressed my sincere thanks to the committee of Allan Rees, Pat Thorne and John Prior for their commitment, discussions and activities throughout 2015.  We welcome members wishing to attend committee meetings or volunteer in future.

There was an interesting debate on the NAN constitution to check that the organisation’s objectives are aligned to current circumstances.  It was agreed to change some of the wording to recognise that the decision to build an airport at Badgery’s  Creek has been made but our core belief and objective remains, that Sydney would be better served by a replacement airport out of the city for better outcomes for the community, industry and the broader economy.  A new objective will be added to be an advocate for the best outcome for affected communities.  This belief is a view shared by the outgoing IATA chief, Tony Tyler (http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/two-airports-in-sydney-could-prove-a-mixed-blessing-iata-boss-tony-tyler-20160214-gmtyiy.html)

Summary of 2015

February, 15 – We sent a submission to the Department of Regional Development and Transport (Transport Department) on the proposed changes to the Sydney Airport Curfew Act expressing our view that there should be:
1. NO “private and business charters”  as the right of Sydney residents to a decent night’s sleep outweighs the privilege of allowing commercial flights through the curfew, and

2. phase out the shoulder period of international arrivals from 5 to 6 am operating over Botany Bay, this was only introduced in 1988 after a promise (later broken) not to build a third runway, and

3. stop the ground running and testing of engines during the curfew period.

July, 2015 – We launched the new NAN website with improved search capability.  I recommend you look at it and send in any suggestions to ccnan@bigpond.com.  We welcome members wishing to help administer the web site.

July 2015: The government put a “notice of intention” to build a Badgerys Creek Airport to Sydney Airport Corporation (SAC) after completing a 9 month consultation period with Sydney Airport. 

Th









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