Second Meeting - 26 August 1996




The second meeting of the Sydney Airport Community Forum (SACF) was held at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Phillip Street, Sydney, on 26 August 1996, adjourned and reconvened on 2 September 1996 at the Airport Sheraton. Lists of attendees are at 26 August 1996 and 2 September 1996 respectively for the 26 August meeting and the 2 September reconvened meeting.



The meeting opened on 26 August 1996 at 9:10am. The Chairman, Mr Joe Hockey MP, welcomed members and noted apologies from:

  • Mrs K Chikarovski MLA, Member for Lane Cove, represented by Ms Judith Ohana
  • Mr Kevin Hill, Kurnell Community representative
  • Ms S Nori MLA, Member for Port Jackson, represented by Ms Mary Anne Jolley
  • Cr Peter Olah, Mayor of Hurstville, represented by Cr John Griffin
  • Mr David Saul, Sydney Airport Forum Pty Ltd, represented by Mr Gary Lee
  • Captain D Wiltshire, Aviation Industry Council of Australia, represented by Mr Bill Bourke

The Chairman briefly summarised the key issues that arose out of the general briefings for SACF members which had been given by aviation authorities on 9 August and on the detailed briefing session by Airservices Australia on 16 August on the Long Term Operating Plan for Sydney Airport.

In response to concerns expressed by members, the Chairman undertook to write to the Minister to request that all relevant government agencies be requested to cooperate with the Forum and provide appropriate information to SACF so members can be fully informed.



Members agreed that Item 4 of the Agenda become "Composition of SACF", that Item 5 be split into two sub-items, 5A "Runway 34R Departures" and 5B "Long Term Operating Plan for Sydney Airport", and that the listed Items 5 to 9 become Items 6 to 10 respectively.

It was agreed that Notices of Motion from Mr Albanese and Cr Tudge would be considered under Other Business.

In addition, the meeting noted an objection to the discussions on runway 34R operations taking place in the absence of representation from the affected area.



The Draft Summary Record of the first SACF meeting held at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Phillip Street Sydney on Monday 22 July 1996 was accepted without amendment.



The Chairman advised that he had raised the issue of widening representation on the Forum with the Minister who had indicated that he would consider this and advise of his decision.

At the conclusion of discussions during which members had made many suggestions on additional representation on the Forum, it was agreed that priority consideration should be given to adding a representative from the Botany area. It was noted that the Botany area is the only community close to the Airport without any representation from at least one level of government or a community member. This lack of representation was considered particularly significant given that the area is the one that will be most impacted if the proposed aircraft departures to the north from the parallel runway are introduced.

Concern was also expressed over lack of representation from the Canterbury area which, like Botany, has no representation at any level. This was seen as a second priority.

The Chairman undertook to approach the Minister with the request that he consider widening membership of the Forum to include representatives from the Botany area and the Canterbury area.



The meeting examined 20 proposals originally developed and circulated by the then Chairman of the Sydney Airport Community Consultative Committee (SACCC). The Forum formed the view that certain of the proposals constitute effective noise reduction strategies which should be adopted. The Chairman undertook to inform the Minister of the Forum's view with the request that steps be taken to implement these proposals at the earliest possible time.

The proposals on which the Forum agreed were the following:

The use of reverse thrust be prohibited between the hours of 10pm and 8am except where this procedure is required for breaking in an emergent situation.

The nose to nose operations presently used for arrivals and departures to and from the south during curfew hours be extended so that the practice is followed for as many other operational hours as possible.

The FAC reconsider the proposals for arrivals on runway 16R to touch down at or about the intersection of runway 07-25 be expedited. This proposal is subject to the existence of suitable weather conditions and the arrival being by use of a visual approach. The installation of suitable markers AT THE SIDE of the runway is a means used elsewhere to facilitate such an approach and the FAC be requested to install similar facilities at Sydney Airport.

Boeing 747 aircraft departing to the north on runway 34L be subjected to a weight limitation of 80% of maximum load in order to reduce noise.

A program of landscaping Sydney Airport be commenced with a view to ameliorating unavoidable ground noise.

The Forum agreed that the following proposals should appropriately be considered by the Air Traffic Management Task Force:

Request Airservices Australia to expedite consideration of the development of new flight paths so that aircraft departing to or arriving from the South be required to avoid flying over the Sydney Metropolitan area by crossing the coast line north of Gosford or south of Kiama or otherwise be prohibited from crossing the coastline at an altitude lower than 10,000 feet.

Request CASA to reconsider as soon as practicable, the request that aircraft departing on runway 16R should make a second turn over the Kurnell sand dunes so as to avoid flying near the Cronulla peninsula. In the light of experience elsewhere there appears little justification for a suggestion that this procedure would impose an undue burden on airline pilots, particularly having regard to the availability of computerised navigation systems which are fitted to most modern aircraft (ie "Flight Management System" - Boeing 737, 747 & 767).

Reiterate the request for aircraft landing on runway 34R to approach over Cape Solander, Point Sutherland and make final line up at the refinery wharf in Botany Bay. The risk of lost visual contact with the aircraft approaching runway 34R should not be an issue if regular separation distances are maintained. In addition, the systems known as Converging Runway Display Aid (CRDA) and Dependent Convergent Instrument approaches could be used to facilitate this proposal. As part of this proposal, all flight over the Kurnell oil refinery to be prohibited.

All aircraft arriving at Sydney Airport be required to adopt an approach procedure so as to achieve minimum clean speed at the point of interception of the glide path and to maintain a no thrust / no drag approach until reaching the final approach stage (ie 3 miles from localiser). Consideration should be given to the use of Precision Approach Instrument (PAPI), which is said to be an advance on ILS, as a means of facilitating the clean approach procedure. As a further means of achieving this procedure, pilots landing aircraft at Sydney be restricted to those with at least 3 years experience and proven proficiency.

The Forum agreed to seek further information on the following proposals to establish whether they are safe and feasible:

Aircraft presently using Sydney Airport and which are categorised as Chapter 2 aircraft, be prohibited from arriving or departing between the hours of 10pm and 7am on any day (this restriction would have immediate effect on aircraft such as ILYUSHIN, Boeing 727 and Fokker F-28).

The take off procedure specified in ICAO "A" be implemented for departures to the South as well as departures to the North.

That arrangements be made with the airline operators for the utilisation of existing computerised flight management systems already installed on most modern aircraft to facilitate strict adherence to flight path requirements and to overcome any perceived notions of pilot work overload in achieving such compliance.

That the airport operator - at present FAC - be required to carry the responsibility, as a matter of law, to ensure that effective noise abatement measures are in place and that they are adhered to by the airline operators who use Sydney Airport.

That all aircraft using Sydney Airport be noise rated under various loads and consideration be given to placing time restrictions for use of the airport by those aircraft which cause excessive noise.

The Forum agreed not to pursue the following proposals:

That formal noise zones be developed and published and that all aircraft be required to remain within those published zones, except in emergent situations.

Existing flight path tolerances be tightened with exemptions being granted for aircraft which are incapable of complying but that such exemptions be granted on strict terms and conditions to be specified.

The Minister be requested to alter the regulations and/or to introduce amending legislation to provide an alternative to prosecution for breaches of flight path requirements so that Airservices Australia may impose an "on the spot" penalty equivalent to the fine which could be expected to be imposed by a court and that the funds raised be donated to assist a local community group in one of the areas affected by aircraft noise, for the provision of a local amenity.

The New South Wales Government be requested to initiate legislation to require property developers wishing to develop housing in the areas surrounding Sydney Airport to obtain an aircraft noise impact certificate with respect to the area concerned and that such a report be submitted by the developer concerned to the relevant local government body for its consideration of the development application.

The Forum agreed that the following proposal required no further action:

That FAC be requested to introduce a computerised noise and air quality monitoring system in order to ascertain the levels of pollution contributed by aircraft using Sydney Airport and that the information collected be made available to SACCC, Airservices Australia, local Municipal Councils concerned and the general public.



The Chairman informed the meeting that the Minister has asked for community feedback on the proposal for aircraft to take off to the north from the third runway and then turn right to follow existing flight paths to the sea. He also advised that the Minister had given a commitment that he would not make a decision on the proposal until he had received the Forum's views.

A presentation given by Airservices Australia on its report on the feasibility of the take-offs to the north on runway 34R was followed by a range of questions from Forum members. The Chairman requested Airservices Australia to provide details of the methodology used to assess the environmental impacts of the proposal.



Airservices Australia gave a presentation on development of the long term operating plan for Sydney Airport which described indicative new flight paths for the Sydney Basin. These showed aircraft crossing the coast much further north and south than under the current arrangements so that urban areas would not be overflown so frequently at relatively low altitudes.

The meeting agreed that, without coming to a firm view on the acceptability or otherwise of individual options, the range of indicative flight path options shown by Airservices covered all the main possibilities and should be further developed for more detailed consideration.

The Forum debated at length constraints on the capacity of the individual runway modes and whether future governments are likely to maintain the capacity constraint of 80 movements per hour if modes have greater potential capacity.

Airservices informed the meeting that international consultants were being engaged to audit the capacity of the runway modes currently under consideration. The Chairman undertook to approach the Minister to ask that either the Department of Transport and Regional Development or the Department of Finance pay for the consultants to ensure that the consultants' report would be seen to be independent.

The Committee asked to be provided with the consultants' brief.

The meeting was adjourned to reconvene at 8:00am Monday 2 September 1996 at a venue to be arranged by the Federal Airports Corporation.



The second meeting of the Sydney Airport Community Forum (SACF) was reconvened at the Airport Sheraton, O'Riordan Street, Mascot, on 2 September 1996 at 8:00am following adjournment on 26 August.

Apologies were noted from:

  • Mr Anthony Albanese MP, Member for Grayndler, represented by Ms Jane Weder
  • Mr Chris Bastic, Mayor of Randwick, represented by Mr Pat Williams
  • Mrs Kerry Chikarovski MLA, Member for Lane Cove, represented by Ms Judith Ohana
  • Ms Sandra Nori MLA, Member for Port Jackson
  • Cr Peter Olah, Mayor of Hurstville, represented by Cr John Griffin
  • Cr Lorraine Rodden, Mayor of Sutherland Shire
  • Captain David Wiltshire, Aviation Industry Council of Australia, represented by Mr Bill Bourke
  • Mr Paul Zammit MP, Member for Lowe.

Following brief discussion, the Chairman stated that correspondence between Airservices and Sydney Airport Forum on the Temporary Local Instruction issued on 22 August 1996 will be listed for discussion on the agenda of the next meeting.

The Chairman informed the meeting that the planned tour of buildings involved in the Airport's insulation program which had been planned for the afternoon of 3 September 1996 had been postponed until Mr Albanese was able to attend.

The Chairman announced that the final ten minutes of the meeting would be set aside to allow observers to address Forum members about noise insulation matters.



The Department of Transport and Regional Development gave a presentation on the likely need for, and options for handling, curfew dispensations during the eight week period for resheeting of the southern end of the main north-south runway at Sydney Airport.

Members agreed that curfew period landings during the course of the works would be best undertaken by continuing use of the northern part of the main north-south runway.

Members raised a number of questions on the options for curfew operations during the works. As a result of these discussions it was agreed that a small group of members would meet with CASA as soon as possible to discuss in detail possible interim curfew operational procedures.

Members agreed that areas where residents may be impacted by revised curfew arrangements should be advised by letterbox drop or some similar means.



The Chairman sought views from all members on the basis of their consultations with respective constituencies.

Members took a wide range of positions on the proposal to introduce take offs to the north from Runway 34R at the Airport.

Representatives of areas to the south and west of the Airport, some of those representing areas to the north of the Parramatta River and the aviation industry representative either broadly or unreservedly were in favour of the proposal. However, in most cases these members expressed the view that early introduction of 34R take offs should only be considered as a short term measure and any decision on its permanent adoption should be taken in the context of consideration of the Airservices Australia December 16 report on the long term operating plan for the Airport.

A number of other members were opposed to the introduction of the new procedures at this time and believed that a decision should only be taken when the Airport's long term plan is being determined. These members saw a decision to proceed with Runway 34R take-offs prior to the conclusion of the Airservices Australia review as potentially prejudicing the consideration of the options for spreading the burden of aircraft noise.

Strong opposition against the proposed procedures was voiced by a number of representatives of the inner north and areas to the east of the Airport. This opposition was essentially based on the view that the procedures, while they may bring some relief in the short term for residents of some areas, are essentially a means to alleviate congestion at the Airport when it is in a northerly parallel flow. These members expressed concern that in the long term 34R take offs will entrench the operation of parallel runways as the preferred mode. Opposition was also expressed on the basis that the sharp low level turn over houses was considered to raise safety concerns and that the introduction of the operation of 34R take-offs may also allow other measures such as adjustments to the landing threshold to take place.

The Chairman undertook to convey the views of the meeting to the Minister.



The monitoring reports distributed to members were noted.



A number of Notices of Motion from Mr Albanese and Mr Tudge were tabled for consideration by the meeting.

After considerable discussion, the Chairman agreed to raise Mr Albanese's Motion No 5 with the Minister:

"That SACF calls upon the Minister to cease the claim against Marrickville Council for costs in the recent legal case, given that this action was made on behalf of the community worst affected by Sydney Airport's expansion. This community should not be further penalised by seeking further financial impost on it."

The meeting agreed that discussion of other motions proposed by Mr Albanese would be postponed until after the proposed tour and briefing on the insulation/acquisition program had taken place.

Cr Tudge's two Notices of Motion were adopted, as follows:

"1. That the Task Force, looking into the management of Sydney airspace be requested to provide this Forum with the precise heads of consideration, the economic or weighting values they use in assessing each of the heads of consideration and the mechanisms or models they use in evaluating options against heads of consideration."

"2. That this Forum through its Chairman, Mr Joe Hockey, write to the Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Development, the Hon John Sharp MP, requesting that CASA, or if he sees fit, another Government Department, be charged with the accountability and responsibility of Public Health and Safety associated with aircraft operation.

"Further, that Mr Hockey indicate that this motion has been necessitated by the statements of CASA and others, that there is nobody responsible for the health and safety of those people on the ground and who are exposed to danger and risk due to aircraft crashes, and public health risks due to noise and air pollution, especially carcinogenics such as NOx and P10 particles."

Presentations from residents of Sydenham

Two Sydenham residents addressed the Forum on difficulties they are having with the Sydney Airport Noise Insulation Project.

Ms Penelope Gill, who owns a weatherboard house, spoke about the adverse impacts the Airport was having on Sydenham and told the Forum that she would like her house to be considered for acquisition.

Ms Sue Berry, said it took three and half months for a scope of works to be completed on her semi-detached house. She advised the Forum that because of delays she has been caught by a ceiling on expenditure. She would like insulation to the level of the other half of the house which was treated before the expenditure ceiling was introduced.

Both residents agreed to SACF members visiting their houses to see where the difficulties lie. Mr Albanese will provide a list of houses which can be visited in the future including a weatherboard which was insulated as part of the Pilot Study last year.



Members were reminded that the third SACF meeting will be held on 23 September 1996 commencing at 9:00am.