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Government releases final Badgerys Creek EIS

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 15, 2016

The federal government has officially "declared" Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in Sydney. (Jordan Chong)
The federal government officially “declared” Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in Sydney in August 2015. (Jordan Chong)

Flightpaths over the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek will be spread out across Western Sydney community and be restricted during overnight hours, according to the project’s final environmental impact statement (EIS).

The draft airport plan and EIS published in October 2015 showed indicative flightpaths for landing at the airport would converge at a single point some 5,000-7,000 feet over the Blue Mountains community of Blaxland, just west of Penrith.

However, in May 2016 the federal government asked for flightpaths to be redrawn to eliminate this single merge point. The final EIS, published on September 15, has reflected the government’s wishes, with indicative flightpaths spread out as part of a comprehensive noise mitigation plan.

Indeed, the EIS said “aircraft arrivals will not converge through a single merge point over any single residential area”.

The federal opposition’s call for there to be night-time restrictions at Badgerys Creek, where all takeoffs and landings between 2300 and 0600 would be in a south-westerly direction to avoid residential areas, has also been taken up. This policy has been criticised by pilot groups.


“The use of head-to-head operations to and from the south-west, when it is safe to do so, is an important preferred option for managing aircraft noise at night,” the EIS said.

“This preferred option will be thoroughly evaluated through further detailed assessment.”

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said indications were that head-to-head operations “could be available greater than 80 per cent of the time”.

“The flight paths set out in both the draft and final EIS are only indicative, and were prepared for the specific purpose of determining whether safe operation of a second major airport in the Sydney Basin is possible, and for allowing an assessment of the environmental impact of Western Sydney Airport using a credible and representative set of operational parameters,” Fletcher said in a statement.

It took the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 11 months to review the 5,000 submissions in response to the draft EIS.

The federal government planned to establish a community forum for the proposed airport.

Fletcher said the Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FoWSA), which will include representatives from the aviation industry, community, state and local government, as well as tourism and business groups, “would ensure community views were taken into account, particularly in relation to the airspace design process”.

Fletcher said the EIS would be given to Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg to determine whether to approve the EIS and what environmental conditions, if any, to impose.

“Finalisation of the EIS is also a precondition for determining the Airport Plan, which can only occur following consideration of the EIS by Minister Frydenberg,” Fletcher said.

Once approved, the final Airport Plan could be determined. The proposed airport was slated to begin operations in the mid-2020s. Preparatory work on the airport site was already underway.

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Comments (9)

  • Bill


    Because, according to the federal opposition, we are still using the smoky and noisy tri- and quad-jets of the 70’s and 80’s. I live beneath the flight path of Sydney airport in the Sandy Point area and you don’t hear the jets flying overhead at 4000-5000 feet. Even when the cross runway is in use you barely hear them on approach or departure. There are some rather uninformed comments on an “esteemed” news website that proved how much the scare campaign has worked in Western Sydney. I’ve found brochures in Westfield’s Penrith that tell you that the pollution caused by the low flying aircraft will poison you and your children and that your health will deteriorate more quickly than usual. Next they’ll be telling us about how the chemtrails will be used to stop people reproducing!

  • Mike


    With the closre of RAAF Richmond now being mooted, why not turn that into Sydney’s second airport? There is room to build a second north-south runway of about 3000m. It’s right next to an existing rail line. In four directions there is little in the way of population to be annoyed by noise, unlike Badgerys Creek!

  • Paul


    It is because the land & runways are way too short (needs to be 3,700m runway)
    Comments need to be thought out a little.

  • Steve


    The terrain to the south west of the Badgerys Creek site will cause problems with the approach / climb gradients based on the 05/23 runway alignment.
    The Baderys Creek departure 05 / arrival track 23 tracks will conflict with KSA runway 16/34.
    Based on these observations, it would seem a realignment of the Badgerys Creek runways to 16/34 will be required.
    If the airspace around KSA is placed over Badgerys Creek, it is obvious that Bankstown and Camden airports will no longer be viable once Badgerys commences operations.

  • Blind Monkey


    Bill has summed things up perfectly. Ditto for the raison d’être for the extant YSYD curfew. These are based on dated an now invalid aircraft noise profiles.

  • Adrian P


    So Paul, are you suggesting that the new runways at Melbourne Airport will be too sh0rt.

    The new runway, approximately 3,000 metres long and 60 metres wide and designated 09R/27L,

    The proposed fourth runway approximately 3,000 metres long and 60 metres wide, designated 16R/34L..

    The current east–west runway is 2,286 metres long and 45 metres wide. An ultimate runway length of 3,500 metres can be provided by extending the west end by 714 metres and the east end by 500 metres.

    The only runway close to the magic 3,700 metre figure is the existing Runway 16/34. at 3,657 metres with a long-term expansion of 843 metres would result in an operational length of 4,500 metres.

  • Marc


    1. If Mascot had 24hr, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    2. Richmond makes sense.

    Politics and politicians cost this country billions. And we pay them.

  • Russell M



    And there’s a photo of Bob Collins, Transport Minister, turning the first ceremonial sod at Badgery’s Creek back in 1992.

    If only it had been built then, and all the money spent on studies, reviews, committee meetings, more studies, more environmental impact studies, etc etc etc had actually since been put to better use.

    If only there had been an Infrastructure Prime Minister or two since 1992 with a bit of backbone and foresight.

    Wellcamp anybody?

  • Rodney Marinkovic


    Mark 8:25 PM, say all need to say. Badgerys Creek is answer for unrestricted 24 hours operation for twenty first centaury. WSA is hire to stay and growing. Noting more. Noting less.
    Rodney Marinkovic & Aviation enthusiast Association.
    Home of Qantasville I.
    Kings Park NSW.

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