Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Western Sydney Airport Timeline
15 September, 2016:  The final Western Sydney Airport Enviornmental Impact Statement released. Our analysis on what changed between the draft and final EIS below. 

Link to the Western Sydney Airport final EIS and Airport Plan>>

19 December, 2015:
  The public consultation period for the Western Sydney Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has now closed.  Read our final submission on the EIS(pdf)>>

19 October, 2015: The Western Sydney Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Draft Airport Plan was issued for a 60 day public consultation period on Monday, 19 October with submissions due by Friday, 18 December, 2015.

Note:  The Airport Plan will be the initial operational Master Plan until the lessee produces their Master Plan.

Western Sydney Airport Final EIS Analysis

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 well after the new airport is operational.

Western Sydney Airport will commence operations in the mid-2020s as a minor regional airport (domestic, international and air freight) serving mainly Western Sydney.   Sydney Airport Ground Transport Plan of 2006 indicates that only 11% of flights originate from people 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 an approach to spread Sydney Airport aircraft noise and not concentrate noise 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.

Note:  The pdf linked documents requires Adobe Acrobat Reader and the doc linked document requires Microsoft Word (version after 1997).

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