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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 699

Dear Mrs Irwin

Thank you for your letter dated 22 October 2009 enclosing a petition from residents of Kareela about aircraft noise in the Sutherland Shire area.

Upon receipt of your letter, I requested Airservices Australia look into the issues raised by the residents of Kareela. In response, I am able to advise the following:

Sydney Airport commenced its Runway End Safety Area (RESA) project in October 2008. During the first stage of the RESA project operations on the east-west runway were limited, leading to a decrease in the number of overflights experienced by areas to the west of the airport.

In June 2009, the first phase of the RESA project was finished allowing arrivals on the east-west runway to recommence. The reopening of the western end of the runway also allowed for the full range of noise sharing modes for Sydney Airport to again be available between the hours of 6 am to 7 am and 7 pm to 11 pm.

Full noise sharing under the airport’s Long Term Operating Plan (LTOP) will resume once the RESA project is completed in April 2010.

A review of flights operating in the vicinity of Kareela since June 2009 indicates that while the overall number of flights experienced during July increased from 1883 to 1992 since then flights have decreased, falling to 1532 in October.

The curfew arrangements that apply at Sydney Airport are established under the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995 (the Act). While the Act prohibits aircraft movements at the airport during the curfew hours of 11 pm and 6 am it does, however, allow for movements by emergency aircraft, and a limited list of other aircraft which are restricted to landing over Botany Bay.

I remain committed to maintaining the curfew and LTOP at Sydney Airport and believe the existing arrangements ensure the safety of air travel and provide a good balance between community and commercial needs.

Thank you for raising this matter.

from the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Mr Albanese