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Tuesday, 13 May 1997
Page: 3423

(Question No. 1291)


Mr Cobb asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, upon notice, on 11 February 1997:

(1) What are the largest aircraft that land on runway 34R/16L at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport.

(2) Could the runway be extended to accommodate large jumbo jets; if so, (a) what extensions would be necessary and (b) what impediments are there to proceeding with extensions.


Mr Sharp —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Runway 16L/34R is 2438m long and was designed and built to cater primarily for domestic sized aircraft such as B767s and B737s, although in terms of width and physical separation standards, it meets the requirements for B747 operations. The declared landing distance available is 1920m for Runway 16L, and 2400m for Runway 34R, which means it is suitable for landings by B747 aircraft in some circumstances. There have been a small number of landings by these aircraft types since the runway opened.

(2) Runway 16L/34R can already accommodate large jumbo jets in some circumstances.

   (a)To permit unrestricted operations by B747 aircraft, would require a runway length of some 3500-3900m depending on variables such as aircraft weight etc. For example, Runway 16R/34L is 3962m long, which permits long haul departures from Sydney to the US west coast.

   (b)There would be a number of impediments to extending Runway 16L/34R and its associated Runway strip, which would require extensive survey data before an accurate assessment could be provided. However, to the north the runway is relatively close to the existing major roads of Foreshore Road and General Holmes Drive. To the south east, lies the main shipping channel associated with Port Botany.