Sydney Airport

Investigations & Consultation

Airservices proactively works with the airport and the community to investigate, trial and implement changes to improve aircraft noise outcomes.

Investigations at Sydney Airport include:

Curfew departures
During the curfew (11pm to 6am) aircraft that are permitted to operate must depart towards the south over the water from Runway 16 Right, the westernmost of the parallel runways. The flight path during the curfew was closer to the coast than the flight path used during the day. The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman asked Airservices to investigate whether it was feasible to move the curfew flight path further away from the coast. Airservices found that this was feasible but that a more practical solution was to make the daytime jet departure path available for the non-jets that fly during the curfew. This change, to be implemented from 9 November 2017, will improve the noise impacts during the curfew by moving aircraft further east of Cronulla, Bundeena and nearby areas. More information about this change.
Flight path over Blue Mountains
Airservices recently conducted a preliminary investigation into whether in principle there is any feasibility to alter the flight path over the Blue Mountains, including what impact this would have on other routes. The investigation found that this would adversely impact on safety and would not be operationally feasible due to the constraints of military airspace restrictions and air traffic control sector boundary and route segregation requirements. This is explained in the Investigation Report. It also found that this would negatively impact on communities closer to Sydney Airport where the noise levels would be higher than those currently experienced in the Blue Mountains.

A second study was conducted in 2017 to investigate a suggested noise improvement made by the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman. This report is available on request. The investigation concluded that:

While Airservices is committed to implementing noise improvements where these are practical and feasible on the grounds of safety, efficiency and benefits for the community, this proposal does not meet these tests. The proposal would significantly increase complexity, is contrary to accepted design standards and could potentially have a negative impact on parts of the community closer to the airport than the Blue Mountains townships. For these reasons Airservices does not intend to pursue this proposal further.

Trial southern departure procedure
Airservices developed a trial departure procedure to minimise the noise impact on La Perouse and the Kurnell Peninsula. This procedure was tested using flight simulators. While normal or low weight operations were able to fly the procedure, in certain weather conditions, heavy aircraft flew over the tip of the Kurnell Peninsula. Overall, the trial procedure delivered no better outcome than the current design, so is not being progressed.

Community Consultation

Community Aviation Consultation Group (CACG) meetings are independent forums where community members and organisations can raise opinions and issues. These meetings address planning and development issues as well as operational matters such as aircraft noise and provide an opportunity for communication and consultation, although may not be public forums.

Airservices attends the Sydney Airport Community Forum meetings to provide information to the community and assist in discussions on aviation matters.