Subjects: Labor’s plan to protect communities from night time aircraft noise at Badgerys Creek
REPORTER: Can you tell us the details around the proposed changes to the Badgerys Creek Airport?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Labor will ensure that Western Sydney benefits from the economic benefits and jobs of Badgerys Creek Airport whilst protecting residents from aircraft noise at night.
We can do that by having simultaneous takeoffs and landings to the south west of the airport between 11pm and 6am. We can do that by making sure that the approach and departure of flights occurs away from residents and communities.
All of this is possible of course, because since the 1980s, protections have been in place to planning at Badgerys Creek Airport to make sure that Badgerys Creek Airport can operate with a minimum of disruption.
REPORTER: How will this time restriction fit into the desired 24 hour operations at the airport?
ALBANESE: What it will enable is for planes to use Badgerys Creek Airport in a way that doesn’t fly over existing communities and residents. In effect, we’re talking about a no-fly zone.
At Kingsford-Smith Airport last year there were 4000 flights during curfew hours, largely freight and emergency flights.
The existing provisions ensured those flights flew over the Bay.
When you have low volume periods at night, it’s possible to ensure thata minimum of aircraft noise disruption occurs at Kingsford-Smith.
The same principle at Badgerys Creek means that no communities will be overflown at night and that can happen.
REPORTER: So curfew restrictions at Kingsford-Smith have copped, you know, some flak for not making the airport as internationally competitive.
How is the curfew there different to this kind of restriction?
ALBANESE: It will ensure at Badgerys Creek there will be operations of commercial passenger aircraft flying at night.
But they’ll be flying in a way that doesn’t disrupt communities and don’t fly over residents.
So this is a win-win.
The economic development and jobs that Western Sydney needs without aircraft noise disruption at night.
REPORTER: Is this just a way to appease Western Sydney voters while at the same time having something in place that can be removed or amped up as and when it suits the government of the day?
ALBANESE: All airports as a result of legislation that I introduced as the Minister have to go through masterplans or effectively Environmental Impact Statements every five years.
All airports should ensure a minimum of disruption for residents and that occurs right around Australia.
So this is a common sense policy that’s possible at Badgerys Creek.
It’s one of the reasons why Badgerys Creek was chosen, and that’s why it’s reflected in terms of the Environmental Impact Statements that have occurred, the Joint Study that’s occurred.
This has been examined in the past by the federal Department responsible for aviation, by CASA, by Air Services Australia, and it’s acknowledged that this can occur.
REPORTER: But this isn’t a curfew, and you accept that it isn’t really actually a curfew that is what some people have been asking for. But most people accept that a curfew would be a bad decision.
Is it just a Band-Aid solution?
ALBANESE: No. What people want is to ensure that they are not woken up at night by aircraft noise. This decision is common sense.
It will ensure that occurs, whilst making sure that the jobs and economic development in Western Sydney which will result from the jobs factory that Badgerys Creek Airport and the surrounding activities will create, are in place.