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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 87

(Question No. 4893)

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 13 November 1986:

(1) Are any airlines which use Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport incurring losses due to traffic delays and traffic congestion at that airport; if so, what is the current annual rate of those losses.

(2) What decisions has the Government made to eliminate the causes of those losses.

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

(1) In 1985, there were 183 958 landings and take-offs at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airpot, by aircraft other than helicopters. This level of use results in some traffic delays in peak periods. Using 1984 cost information the loss to all users including airlines is estimated to total between $9m and $10m per annum. This estimate is for aircraft operating costs, and excludes consideration of the delay costs to passengers and costs of airline schedule disruption.

(2) Delay costs cannot in practice be eliminated at any airport as there remains the probability of more than one aircraft planning to use the airport at the same time, in which case one will take precedence, and the others will be delayed. The challenge is not to attempt to eliminate delays, but to properly manage airport congestion so that the cost of delay does not exceed the benefits of additional services scheduled during peak periods. At Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport a priority system operates which generally accords preference of use to scheduled over non-scheduled services, and this has proven effective during the period it has been applied. The options for management of peak traffic have been improved by the selection of the second airport site at Badgerys Creek and the efficiency of traffic movement is being enhanced by the taxiway improvement works currently in progress.