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Western Sydney International releases preliminary flight paths

written by Jake Nelson | June 27, 2023

An artist’s impression of the new Western Sydney International Airport.

Preliminary flight paths have been released for Western Sydney Airport (WSI), along with an online tool to let residents see the impact on their location.

The flight paths, which will be subject to a formal planning and consultation period later this year, have been designed for WSI’s single initial runway. They include reciprocal runway operations (RRO), where planes arrive and depart from the same direction, to minimise noise at night when traffic permits.

During the day, aircraft will use Runway 05 (approaching from the southwest and departing to the northeast) or Runway 23 (approaching from the northeast and departing to the southwest) depending on prevailing wind conditions.

At night (11pm to 5:30am), when weather conditions are suitable and there is lower traffic demand, the airport will have the option of RRO, with all aircraft approaching from and departing to the southwest. This will minimise the impact of aircraft noise on more densely-populated areas of Western Sydney.

According to Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is coming later this year, with community information and feedback to be conducted across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains in coming months.


Additionally, the government has released an interactive Overflight Noise Tool that will allow residents to search by address or location, giving information such as daily aircraft numbers,  expected altitude, and predicted noise levels.

“These preliminary flight paths have been developed by an Expert Steering Group led by my department and including Airservices Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Department of Defence and airport operator WSA Co,” said Ms King.

“Importantly, the preliminary flight paths were developed according to Airspace Design Principles that reflect community feedback from the ‘proof-of-concept’ flight paths released in 2015. These principles include minimising flights over residential areas and reducing the impact on the community of aircraft operations at night.”

WSI is expected to open in late 2026, with Qantas and Jetstar the first two airlines to formally sign on. Construction on the first parallel runway began in March 2022.

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