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Sydney Airport calls for more flexibility

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 30, 2013

Sydney Airport has called for curfew flexibility. (Sydney Airport)

Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather has called for more flexibility in the curfew to lift productivity and better manage delays in the event of unavoidable conditions.

The comments were instigated by adverse weather in the aftermath of the tropical storm that caused widespread severe flooding in Queensland, with delayed flights unable to land or depart at Sydney causing disruption to thousands of travellers, Mather claimed.

“Last night’s weather was a prime example of the current inflexible curfew restrictions causing thousands of travellers to be diverted interstate at significant cost and inconvenience, simply because some weather-impacted flights were not permitted to land in Sydney after 11pm,” Mather contested.

The relaxation of federal government-imposed artificial limitations on capacity have been discussed in a paper published by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) that demonstrates the benefits small changes to restrictions could bring.

“Permitting just 11 more services during the shoulder period each week would double the number of slots over the year and would have minimal impact on residents if these slots were restricted to quieter new-generation aircraft like the A380,” Mather said.


“We also support the TTF’s call for a more sensible way of administering the cap. Because it is measured in 15-minute blocks, delays often result as air traffic control is required to hold services on the ground because the cap has been exceeded. “

The TTF and Sydney Airport argue the economic stimulus generated by the additional movements would be material.

“A typical international jumbo service contributes $120 million a year to the economy and creates 1,500 full-time jobs, while an A380 service from China would contribute $388 million a year to the economy and create 5,000 full time jobs,” Mather concluded.

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Comments (14)

  • Mike


    Remove the curfew already. It’s an international city, it’s been going on far too long. Remove it.

  • Ky


    I think if the curfew is removed there needs to be a restriction on the volume of takeoffs and landings after 2300 and before 0600. Although the people living around the airport made the choice themselves, they still need to be considered.

  • craig simpson


    allow only quiet aircraft such as the a380, 787, a350 and new gen 737’s and a320’s. allow landings of these type of aircraft with no reverse thrust during the curfew period but not takeoffs. maybe ban reverse thrust on all planes on the long runway.

  • Dane


    Its a joke that people can move under a known flight path or into a known area affected by airport noise, then complain about it. Its part and parcel of living in a city. Aircraft noise levels have fallen significantly and no longer are airlines flying smoke, noisy jets. Sydney will suffer in years to come and lose out to Melbourne as Australia’s top tourist destination if people can’t land if their flight is delayed beyond curfew. Put up with it or move out. No one is making you live under a flight path.

  • Ron


    People live right next to busy highways & interstate train lines, knowing that it’s going to be noisy. No one imposes a curfew on overnight semi trailers or freight trains. What’s the difference?

  • Ian Marston


    I agree with Ron and Dane, however I can’t see Melbourne over taking Sydney unless a parallel runway to the main runway is constructed and some restrictive ATC procedures are relaxed!

  • matt


    How ridiculous are these comments. People moved into the areas surrounding the airport on the basis of there being curfews in place. Why should they have to put up with the noise and a lowering of their property prices just to deliver the CEO of the airport a nice bonus.

  • Rumsey


    You must al be deaf or not live under the flight path (which the government of the day can move to anywhere it damn well likes over Sydney, so stop the nonsense about residents choosing. There are NO quiet jets on takeoff when they are a couple of hundred feet above your house. And what about older noisier jets which have delayed departures and still want to take off after curfew time “for the sake of the passengers” (read airline)? The media are currently all in concert with the aviation industry and have no regard for residents. Why this is so remains to be revealed.

  • James from Sydney


    God forbid that anyone would call for a second airport in an under-developed area which Sydney desperately needs. Let’s make life hell for people living near the airport because we couldn’t be bothered doing what’s obvious and what other major cities around the world have done. Let’s follow Sydney Airport CEO’s lead like sheep.

    I don’t live near the airport so I have not vested interest but if the curfew is removed I will, out of principal, do everything in my power to discredit and bring down any government that removes it.

  • Nicholas Roche


    I have no sympathy for residents complaining about the aircraft noise, as the airport has been there a lot longer than the residents. Sydney is a main hub and needs to lift this curfew. I am not going to apologise for the noise of the planes flying overhead, as if you don’t like it, simply move to a much quieter location and find something else to winge about.

  • Dave


    I hope Melbourne actually build a runway parallel and make the international terminal bigger. Then we will see these people that cried about the curfew cry that Melbourne has taken there jobs and extra income from nsw. I live in nsw and would hate to see it but Sydney folks under the flight path need to move with the times. It’s not as if we have 707s taking off these jets are Alot quieter that’s for sure. Start moving with the times or as the saying goes you snooze you loose. By the way I have lived under the flight path in Sydney where the aircraft are about 300 feet about the house and it’s not as bad as they claim and I did night shift back then aswell. There’s definite ways to get rid of the curfew and after a month or so you will sleep through it

  • Dane


    Sydney will never get a second airport because no one wants to be within cooee of it, and any suggested site will have nearby residents putting up a massive battle. Because any new airport will cause such a noise issue, people in that circumstance have a right to complain as they never built or moved near to it. Also the state and federal government will never be able to agree on a site because it is a political hot potato and no one wants to be the one to put an airport in someone’s backyard.

  • Red Barron


    You hit the nail on the head there Dane.

  • Lla


    Plane, delayed by massive rain, could not take off from Brisbane in time to get to Sydney before curfew. Hotel found at 80km to spend the night meaning could not get early flight the next day. Missed customer meeting, morning ruined.

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