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Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Page: 22038

Mrs Crosio asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 10 September 2003:

(1) Has the Government considered using Canberra Airport to alleviate the problems with Sydney air traffic; if not, why not.

(2) Can he confirm estimates that passenger numbers at Sydney's Kingsford-Smith Airport will increase almost threefold over the next twenty years.

(3) Is it the case that there is no curfew in place at Canberra Airport.

(4) Could Canberra Airport be used to take overnight freight during the hours the curfew applies at Kingsford-Smith.

(5) Does Canberra airspace have the capacity to handle more flights

Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) No. The Australian Government has previously indicated its commitment to review Sydney's future airport needs in 2005.

(2) Estimates of passenger numbers are a matter for Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) to determine as the lessee of Sydney Airport. I understand that these estimates are contained in SACL's preliminary draft Master Plan. The draft Master Plan is to be submitted to me for formal consideration by 31 December 2003.

(3) Yes. Noise abatement procedures are in place for aircraft departures and approaches at Canberra Airport. Those procedures are promulgated in the Aeronautical Information Publication prepared by Airservices Australia.

(4) Yes.

(5) Opportunities for Canberra Airport to handle more flights is a matter for the airport operator, Canberra International Airport Pty Ltd, and its aviation partners to resolve by normal commercial means. The approved Master Plan for Canberra Airport identifies the long-term forecasts for traffic growth.