Sydney Airport

Flight Paths

Flight paths in Sydney are designed to accommodate and keep segregated aircraft arriving from and departing to ports in different directions and to avoid the military restricted areas that surround Sydney, at Holsworthy, Richmond and off the coast to the south. There are different flight paths for jets and non-jets.

Arrivals

Aircraft will approach Sydney from all directions before they join the final approach path. Jet aircraft will join the final approach from a considerable distance out from Sydney Airport and fly towards the runway in a straight line. Aircraft are “vectored” by air traffic control to join this final approach. Many areas of Sydney not under the final approach path will experience aircraft being vectored over their areas. For example, when the final approach is from the north, aircraft approaching from the west will be vectored over the north-west.

Aircraft will generally join the final approach at around 3,000 feet in altitude. Aircraft being vectored will be at altitudes as directed by air traffic control. These will generally be 5,000 feet or less, but their altitude will depend on how far they have left to fly as they are already well into their descents. There is no regulated minimum altitude for an aircraft in the process of landing.

Departures

When the parallel runways are being used in a northerly direction, jet aircraft departing from runway 34L will turn north-west and those departing from Runway 34R will turn either north-east or east after take-off.

The altitude of aircraft after departure will depend on factors such as the type of aircraft and its weight, how heavily laden it is with fuel and passengers, and the atmospheric conditions at the time. All these factors affect an aircraft’s climb rate. There is no regulated minimum altitude for an aircraft in the process of taking off.

Flight path information

See below for images of typical flight paths and how frequently they were used in the quarter indicated. Please note that aircraft do fly outside the shown swathes. For example, the swathes do not extend to all the areas that are overflown by arriving aircraft being vectored or show the full length of departure flight paths. Further, aircraft may be directed off the usual flight paths for reasons including the need to avoid bad weather or for traffic management, that is, to ensure safe separation between aircraft. See WebTrak for further information about where aircraft fly. More explanation is also available in the Why Aircraft Fly Where They Do fact sheet.

You can access historical information about flight path use through WebTrak. To access this information click the “Historical” link below the text in the Quick Start Guide at the top left-hand side of the screen. Then use the tick boxes at the bottom-right of the screen to select monthly, quarterly or yearly information. Use the sliders to refine your selection to specific timeframes.

January - March 2018

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

October - December 2017

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

July - September 2017

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

April - June 2017

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

January - March 2017

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

October - December 2016

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

July - September 2016

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths
Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

April - June 2016

Flight path use

The images below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals (shown in red), Departures (shown in green) or Both can be selected using the links immediately below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

 

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths

Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types

January - March 2016

Flight path use

The image below shows typical flight paths ‘swathes’ for aircraft arriving (red) and departing (green) Sydney Airport.

How To: Arrivals, Departures or Both can be selected using the links below. The figure in the circle is the percentage of aircraft using each flight path during the quarter for the type of operation (arrivals (red)/departures (green)/both) selected. As you click the (i) icon on the swathe tag, or the applicable radio button below the map, the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Show Arrivals | Show Departures | Show Both

How To: The radio buttons below correspond to the flight path swathes shown in the image above. As you click each radio button the charts below will change to display information for that flight path.

Arrival paths

Departure paths

Hourly movements (average)


Aircraft types