Jul 14, 2007

Albanese rules out lifting the air curfew – The Glebe

LOBBYING by two major airlines to relax the curfew at Sydney Airport has been strongly rejected by Grayndler Federal Labor MP Anthony Albanese.

Mr Albanese, whose ministries include transport, has dismissed any suggestion that the legislated curfew would be changed.

“There will be no relaxation of the curfews and caps at Sydney Airport. Full stop,” Mr Albanese said.

Qantas and Singapore Airlines had suggested loosening the 11pm-to-6am curfew which provides overnight respite from plane noise for residents living under the flight paths in their submissions to the Federal Government’s National Aviation Policy white paper.

Qantas also wants the cap of 80 flights an hour reviewed.

Capacity at the airport is already being reached at peak periods and does not allow for growth, it states. New aircraft technologies that reduce plane noise are cited as a reason for the review. Marrickville Mayor Dimitrios Thanos said if such technology was available then airlines should be forced to use it. “What the government should be doing is telling them that by the year 2012 that flights in and out of Sydney Airport should be those planes that generate less noise,” Cr Thanos said. “They should operate those aircraft within those existing constraints.”

Residents said a second airport was urgently needed.

“Obviously I wouldn’t appreciate any more noise and we are just hoping that any day now there is going to be talk of another airport being built,” Julie Williams, of St Peters, said. “That is the only answer we can hope for really.”

Stanmore’s Alfred Fenech said residents kept copping it and compensation should be given over a wider area.
“The airport has reached its saturation point and instead of building another airport they want to keep squeezing what they can out of residents,” he said.