Ninth Meeting - 31 July 1997


List of attendees - 31 July 1997


A list of meeting attendees is here.



The meeting opened at 9.10am. The Chairman, Mr Joe Hockey MP, welcomed members and noted apologies from:

  • Mr A Albanese MP, represented by Ms Verity Firth
  • Mrs Kerry Chikarovski MLA, represented by Ms Judith Ohana
  • Ms S Nori MLA, represented by Ms Ros Habig
  • Cr P Olah
  • Mr D Saul
  • Mr P Zammit MP



Members adopted the provisional agenda and agreed to proceed in the order listed with the following items included under Item 8, Other Business:

  • 8A - Sydenham businesses and insulation problems in Sydenham
  • 8B - Turn altitude for departures off Runway 16L
  • 8C - Mode 5: the first stage of implementation
  • 8D - Resolution - Marrickville Council court costs



The Draft Summary Records of the Eighth SACF Meeting and the Special Meetings of 30 May 1997 and 20 June 1997 were accepted without amendment. Correspondence and actions arising from the meetings were noted.



Several letters from the Minister were tabled during the meeting as well as a media statement about the start of the Long Term Operating Plan. In addition a letter from Mr Barry Murphy, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Corporation, to the SACF Chairman was tabled. It outlined additional costs of the international terminal expansion if it were to take place at the northern end of Sydney Airport instead of to the south west as planned.

Proposed meeting with the Minister

Concerns were expressed that no date had been scheduled for the meeting which SACF had requested with the Minister. As outlined in the Minister's response to SACF (dated 30 July 1997), the Chairman advised members that the Minister proposed to meet with a small group of SACF members to discuss the matters of (i) FAC international terminal expansion proposal; (ii) 16L threshold relocation proposal; (iii) hourly cap on movements and slot control legislation; and (iv) impact of the LTOP on Kurnell. The Minister proposed to meet with the SACF members prior to the Spring Sittings.

Members discussed the current status of the FAC's planned expansion of the international terminal and noted that the issue of environmental assessment was currently before the Minister for the Environment. It was requested that SACF's interest in the issue be conveyed to Environment Australia.

Issues raised by Ms Patrinos

Ms Patrinos directed attention to a report in the "Telegraph Mirror" of 25 March 1997 about a letter from the Air Traffic Controllers' union reportedly expressing concerns about changes to operations of the east-west runway. Airservices assured members that Airservices and CASA undertook rigorous safety assessments of all proposed changes to procedures and that ATS management responsible for decisions on new procedures were themselves senior experienced air traffic control specialists.

The Chairman proposed and the Forum agreed that Ms Patrinos' concern that non-jet flight paths could become jet flight paths be referred to the Implementation and Monitoring Committee (IMC).

B747 departures from Runway 16L

Mr Hill raised concerns about B747 departures from Runway 16L.

Airservices advised that a number of short haul B747 aircraft had taken off recently from this runway in order to improve the capacity of over-the-water operations in the early morning period (SODPROPS). However, it also advised that virtually all B747 departures to date from R16L have turned through the Heads and that the short runway would preclude take-offs by "fully laden" B747 aircraft.

DTRD indicated that the proposal that B747 aircraft take off from R16L had been specifically mentioned in the text of the Proponent's Statement but that the monitoring of the effectiveness of the procedure would clearly be a matter that came within the ambit of the IMC.

Airservices Freecall Phone

SACF members again raised the issue of a freecall number for the Noise Enquiry Unit, claiming Airservices had not adequately answered questions raised at previous meetings. While some members claimed that it was not fair for people to suffer aircraft noise and have to pay for a complaint phone call, others expressed concern that the freecall number could be abused.

Airservices advised that the matter was under review and that an Air Traffic Services board meeting next week would have the issue on the agenda for discussion. It was agreed that the matter should be progressed through a small group of SACF members liaising directly with Airservices Australia.



The FAC briefed members on the progress of major airport projects and new matters of significance which were being considered or planned. The FAC's quarterly update notes had been posted to SACF members following the postponement of FAC's briefing which was to have taken place at the special meeting on 20 June 1997 and the FAC gave a verbal update on those projects and indicated some new proposals.

The main developments outlined at the meeting were the expansion plans for the Sydney International Terminal, reconstruction work at both Qantas and Ansett domestic terminals, new access roads, parking facilities and landscaping as well as airfield works such as the design of taxiways, resheeting and slab replacement.

Members requested that FAC give SACF an undertaking in writing, before the meeting with the Minister takes place, that no project would adversely impact on the operation of the east-west runway.

Members requested an improvement in the road-signing at the Airport.



The monitoring reports distributed to members were noted by the Forum.



Correspondence both received and initiated by the Chairman was noted by the Forum.

The Chairman referred to the letters from the Minister which had been tabled and drew attention to the fact that he would retain the Chair for another term. He also drew members' attention to the fact that the Minister had accepted the nominations of Mr David Lidbetter and Mr Kevin Hill as community representatives to the Implementation and Monitoring Committee (IMC) and that the Minister had written to them separately. The Minister had further advised that after considering SACF's suggestion, he had amended the terms of reference for the IMC.

Cr Margaret Martin expressed disappointment that no environmental auditor had been appointed to the IMC. The Chairman agreed that this was an issue that could be raised at the meeting with the Minister.



A. Ms Habig asked when the Minister would visit the insulation area of Sydenham. The Chairman advised that Anthony Albanese was dealing directly with the Minister on the issue.

A case of reported eviction of tenants from a recently insulated block of units was discussed. It was agreed that any follow-ups should be a matter for the appropriate State authorities.

In response to comments that there were many complaints from residents about the insulation program, the Chairman requested that this was best addressed on the basis of the specifics of individual cases.

B. Daryl Toepfer advised that CASA would contact Kevin Hill direct on the question of the turn altitude for departures off Runway 16L.

C. Cr Martin questioned Airservices about the implementation of Modes 5 and 9 during Stage 1 of LTOP. The Chairman proposed these issues be dealt with the IMC. Don Brown, Airservices, agreed to look at the possibility of the early introduction of the new 34R departure tracks in order to avoid reciprocity.

Members discussed at length the altitudes of aircraft over Coogee and whether there is a difference between what is actually happening against what is in the LTOP model. Airservices undertook that Colin Dahl would ring David Lidbetter to explain the assumptions concerning aircraft heights in the model. DTRD undertook to co-ordinate an examination of this issue by the aviation authorities.

There was discussion on the merits of ICAO "A" and "B" departure procedures and the question of whether if one method were used to relieve Coogee, the closer suburbs (e.g. Eastlakes) would suffer from more noise. It was noted that the Minister has announced that this issue is to be examined by the IMC.

D. The following motion, tabled by Cr Cotter, was adopted by the meeting:

"SACF supports Marrickville Council not having to meet the Government's costs arising from the court case against the expansion of Sydney Airport.

SACF recognises the unique situation of this litigation.

SACF notes it has twice supported this position and draws to the Minister's attention the strong view of the Forum in this matter.

SACF seeks the Minister's reconsideration of his decision on this matter."

The Chairman proposed that this item be raised with the Minister at the forthcoming meeting with the SACF delegation.



Members agreed to the date of the tenth meeting which will be Friday 29 August 1997.

The meeting also unanimously agreed that meetings will be in the morning.

The meeting ended at 12.05pm.