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Sydney Airport curfew

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31 August 1995

International flights at Sydney before 6.00 am and after 11.00 pm should end if proposals from the House o f Representatives Standing Committee on Transport Communications and Infrastructure are implemented , Chairman Peter Morris MHR said today.

"Noise levels, operational procedures and public accountability by airlines will be improved under the proposals," Mr Morris said.

Currently only 35 pre-6.00 am arrival slots o f the 42 available each week are utilised. The Committee has proposed that the unused 7 slots be cancelled immediately and any slots currently in use be cancelled as those flights are moved into the non-curfew period.

Sydney West will be able to receive international flights as soon as it becomes operational. As capacity is made available the remaining shoulder flights should be transferred to that airport.

Meanwhile there is scope to transfer some pre-6.00 am arrivals to a later arrival time. The Committee proposes that the Government and the International Air Transport Association should examine as soon as possible the feasibility o f rescheduling some shoulder flights into the non-curfew period. (Paras 3.11 to 3.19).

International arrivals and departures in the shoulder periods (5.00 am to 6.00 am and 11.00 pm to 12.00 midnight) were introduced in 1989 on the basis there would be no third runway built.

Northbound aircraft should be prohibited from taking off after 10.45 pm. This will end the practice o f aircraft getting push back clearance before 11.00 pm and taking off after 11.00 pm. (Paras 3.29 to 3.33)

Substantial increases in penalties for breach o f the curfew are proposed. Up from $5,000 to $20,000 for individuals and up from $20,000 to $100,000 for corporations.

Operation o f many propeller driven aircraft in the Sydney area especially in uncontrolled airspace is a problem for many Sydney residents with the identity and activity o f many o f the aircraft being unknown.

An immediate investigation into night operations o f propeller driven aircraft in the Sydney area should be conducted. This should enable measures to be developed to better protect residents from unnecessary aircraft noise.

The public will be better informed under the Committee's proposal that the airline industry be required to publish in the local media an explanation for any "go round" or significant noise incident as soon as possible after the incident.

Procedures for handling noise complaint procedures should be reviewed to ensure they are effective and adequate (Paras 4.7 to 4.9)


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