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Sydney Morning Herald wrong on Sydney Airport

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News Release Hon. Laurie Brereton MP Minister for Transport ♦ Minister for Industrial Relations T 17/95 18 April, 1995


The east-west runway at Sydney Airport is not being operated simultaneously with the north-south parallel runway system as claimed by the Sydney Morning Herald at the weekend.

The east-west runway is available for use when weather conditions such as high winds, require its use by certain classes of aircraft. Recently, strong westerly winds required the use of the east-west runway for most operations. On some occasions large long distance aircraft required the use of the airport’s longest runway and were able to

operate safely with the crosswinds.

None of these operations involved SIMOPS (simultaneous runway operations), where one aircraft is required to hold short of the runway intersection while another aircraft crosses and clears the runway. SIMOPS, involving independent use of intersecting runways, operated prior to the opening of the parallel runway at Sydney Airport.

SIMOPS was used to meet the heavy demand at Sydney Airport, demand which is now more adequately met by the parallel runway operations.

In fact, the new parallel runways combine to provide optimum capacity along with optimum safety. To suggest that because cross runway operations are used elsewhere without incident as the reason to continue their use at Sydney Airport misses the point. Safety is our paramount concern; this is why parallel operations have replaced

SIMOPS at Sydney Airport.

It is accepted internationally that parallel runway operations are an improvement in safety over intersecting operations.

Media contact: Kate Hannon (06) 277 7320