Meeting 1/2015 - 20 Feburary 2015

Agenda Item 1

Opening Remarks and Adoption of Agenda

The Chair welcomed members and guests. Apologies were noted from:

  • Ms Carmel Tebbutt MP, Member for Marrickville
  • Ms Kris Kruden, representing the Member for Grayndler. Clr Darcy Byrne, Leichhardt Municipal Council will be standing in for Ms Kruden
  • Clr Mark Gardiner, Mayor of Marrickville. Clr Chris Woods will be standing in for Clr Gardiner
  • Clr Lucille McKenna, Mayor of Ashfield
  • Ms Leona Sierakowski from the Office of the Member for North Sydney
  • Ms Elissa Keenan from Airservices Australia

The Chair welcomed a number of guests including:

  • Mr Dennis Cliche, Chief Executive, WestConnex Delivery Authority
  • Dr Andrew Hede and Dr Rob Bullen, authors of a seminal study on aircraft noise
  • Mr Adam Allanson from Orima Research
  • Mr Ron Brent, Aircraft Noise Ombudsman


A draft agenda was circulated on 3 February 2014. No new Items of business were proposed.

Agenda Item 2

Confirmation of Draft Summary Record of Meeting 4/2014

2.1—Incorporation of suggested changes

Ms Keenan and Mr Carroll suggested a number of changes in the form of additional information to the minutes.  Mr Hill noted that some of these changes related to his report on the Implementation and Monitoring Committee, and he requested that the original wording be retained. This was agreed.

2.2—Action Items arising from previous meetings

All of the Action items from the last meeting have been completed.

Agenda Item 3

Community Question Time—Members of the Community

The following questions were submitted to the Chair by two Hunters Hill residents:

  1. Why is the LTOP target for aircraft movements for the north (17%) consistently not being met by Sydney Airport? As you may be aware, actual aircraft movements in the north (measured as a percentage of all aircraft movements) during 2014 were above 31% which is about 180% of the agreed target. This is unacceptable.
  2. Why are aircraft movements in the north consistently exceeding the LTOP target, while aircraft movements to the south and to the west are consistently below their respective LTOP targets?
  3. Why is the runway rotation system not being more effectively used at sensitive times of the day, as described in LTOP 'Respite'?
  4. Why do residents north of the airport suffer an excessive number of overflights during the sensitive early morning period between 6am and 7am, when there is no apparent weather conditions necessitating such overflights?
  5. What is Sydney Airport's future operating strategy for effectively addressing aircraft noise over the north area given the increasing number of aircraft movements in the future, particularly between 6am to 10am and 5pm to curfew e.g. change existing flight patterns (height and/or direction)?
  6. What is Airservices Australia's strategy for ensuring compliance with the LTOP

These questions were referred to Airservices Australia, and Sydney Airport (Q5) for
response. Mr Carroll suggested that these questions be referred to the Implementation and Monitoring Committee (IMC) for further analysis and reported back to the next SACF Meeting. Mr Plummer noted that Sydney Airport has a role in noise mitigation and agreed to contribute to a joint response with Airservices.

Action 01/01—Airservices to refer the questions from Hunters Hill residents to IMC for analysis, and report back to SACF at the next meeting with a response. Sydney Airport to contribute to that response as appropriate.

Agenda Item 4

WestConnex—presentation by Mr Dennis Cliche

Mr Cliche gave a presentation on the WestConnex Project outlining the scope of the project, the stages of construction, and the public consultation arrangements. WestConnex is working through the options with stakeholders to develop a solution which provides improved access to Sydney Airport. Mr Plummer noted that Sydney Airport was a very strong supporter of the project and was working cooperatively with the WestConnex Delivery Authority.

Agenda Item 5

Aircraft Noise Study—presentation by Drs Hede and Bullen

Following the SACF meeting on 23 May 2014 the Forum agreed to seek the views of Dr Andrew Hede and Dr Rob Bullen, authors of the National Acoustics Laboratory (NAL) study on aircraft noise in Australia “Aircraft Noise in Australia: A Survey of Community Reaction”, on the continued validity of this study; how it might be improved if it were undertaken today; and an assessment of the need for a new study.

Dr Bullen outlined the original study, which included a large scale social survey of 5,575 doorknock interviews of residents around five major airports in Australia, in high noise areas (down to 25 ANEF). Individuals displayed considerable variation in their reaction to the
same level of noise exposure, with 10–20% of the variation in reaction to noise explained by the noise level, with the remaining 80–90% of variation related to individual factors.  Group reactions are more highly correlated with noise exposure. Equal energy measures of noise exposure such as the existing American metric NEF, and the modified ANEF, proved to be the best predictors of reactions to noise exposure. The ANEF was developed from the NEF by changing the time of day weightings. Noise frequency metrics such as N70s proved to be useful when used in combination with ANEFs.

Dr Hede has been employed teaching research methods to Masters Students and has used the NAL Study as an example of how to do research properly. He put the view that if the study were to be repeated in the Sydney area it would need a stratified sample of 1600 subjects, spread over a larger area (to go beyond the 20 ANEF) with clustering of subjects to reduce the cost. The 1980 study used interviewers who were trained for a week. In 2015, there is a shortage of trained doorknock interviewers. Dr Hede put the view that response rate was not as important as response bias.  If you announce the purpose of the survey upfront, people who are highly sensitive to aircraft noise will be much more willing to participate in the survey than people who are not so sensitive to aircraft noise.  He suggested that the results of a repeat study be considered as if Sydney 2015 was another airport. He suggested that the researchers should prepare a separate report on the policy implications of the research to government.

Dr Bullen noted that a range of alternative noise metrics such as N70s, N60s, respite time etc., have been developed, but none of these has been scientifically tested, in terms of noise reaction and other factors. Dr Bullen discussed options for developing methods to investigate reactions to noise in areas of relatively low noise exposure; to find ways to describe exposure in these areas so that the relative impact of different scenarios can be predicted; and to find what descriptors of exposure or reaction make sense to residents. He suggested a small scale qualitative verbal questionnaire, with around 400 subjects, a field study to investigate disturbance to task performance and other factors, and a combination laboratory study and focus group to assess reactions to noise exposure.

Dr Bullen concluded that the NAL study continues to be the best available guide for reaction to consistently high levels of noise exposure in the land use planning zone close to the airport. He noted that the recommendations to Government from the NAL study fed into the Australian Standard AS2021, which has been picked up by land use planning authorities. The initial NAL study was undertaken with two full-time government researchers, and the estimated equivalent cost at current rates would be around $500,000.

A rough estimate of the cost of replicating the study today, including training and employing interviewers is $1 million for the main survey and $1.5 million including the additional studies.

There was discussion of the relevance of the ANEF as a noise metric, and its insensitivity to the number of aircraft movements, and the need to update it. It was noted that the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for Western Sydney Airport will use a range of noise metrics including the ANEF and N70 type metrics. Dr Hede noted that there are noise impact measures such as the 10% seriously affected and 10% moderately affected measures, and offered to provide some research on these measures.

Action 02/01—The Chair to write to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development to ask that a broad range of noise metrics and noise impact measures be included in the EIS for Western Sydney Airport.

Action 03/03—The Chair to write to the National Acoustics laboratory to ask them to cost a replication of the aircraft noise survey and related research

Agenda Item 6

Sydney Airport Report—Mr Ted Plummer

Mr Plummer agreed in the interests of brevity to circulate a copy of the Sydney Airport Report to members, but noted that the Airport had submitted its Major Development Plan on Ground Transport works to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development in December 2014 and was hopeful of securing approval in the coming weeks.

Agenda Item 7

Airservices Australia Report—Ms Elissa Keenan and Mr Paul Carroll, Airservices

Mr Carroll noted that the relevant issues will be discussed under the IMC report and there was nothing further to add.

Agenda Item 8

Implementation and Monitoring Committee (IMC) Report—Mr Clarke

Mr Clarke reported that the VHF Omnidirectional Radio beacon (VOR) was removed from service on 13 November 2014 and was replaced by RNAV procedures. In response to some concerns raised by Mr Hayes on the Mode Capacity Paper, Airservices issued a directive to air traffic controllers over the Christmas period reminding them to use LTOP noise sharing modes wherever possible

Following the last SACF meeting Mr Hayes provided some feedback to IMC on the Airservices Mode Capacity paper and raised the following questions:

  • what is the potential for use of (each) noise sharing mode going forward?
  • has the performance of any of the noise sharing modes improved over the past 18 years since the initial capacity modelling underlying LTOP?
  • are any noise sharing modes likely to improve their capacity in the near future? (e.g. with efficiency / infrastructure improvements at KSA)?
  • what are the implications for LTOP of the current and expected capacity of the noise sharing modes?
  • If capacity of the noise sharing modes cannot be improved, I would expect the report to address ways that this apparent impasse might be resolved going forward by examining possible strategic options to minimize parallel operations.

Mr Hayes put the view that these questions had not been answered and it was agreed that Airservices would provide a specific response to each of these questions at the next meeting of IMC, and that Mr Hayes be invited to attend.

Action 04/01—Airservices to provide a specific response to each of the questions on mode capacity raised by Mr Hayes, at the next meeting of IMC.

Mr Hayes also requested that the publications of note that are circulated with the Agenda for IMC meetings be circulated to SACF members

Action 05/01—The secretariat to circulate IMC Publications of Note with the Agenda forIMC Meetings

IMC considered the constraints on the ground movement of aircraft in the North East Quadrant of the airport, and the impact this has on the ability to use the east west runway. Airservices provided some data on arrivals to Runway 34R which indicated that newer wide bodied aircraft are slightly quieter than older aircraft.

Agenda Item 9

Review of consultative arrangements for federally leased airports Adam Allanson, Orima Research

Mr Adam Allanson from Orima Research provided a brief outline of the review, which will consider the effectiveness of community aviation consultation groups like SACF, including the extent to which they are supported by their participants; the extent to which they facilitate meaningful consultation with local communities on airport operational matters; the effectiveness of Chair and Secretariat arrangements; and the nature, efficacy and extent of membership. Orima Research will conduct an online survey of participants to gather this information, beginning in March 2015, and expected to be completed by June 2015. The survey is voluntary and optional, and responses are confidential.

Agenda Item 10

Department of Infrastructure and Regional DevelopmentReports—Mr Stone

10.1—Review of business jets

On 3 February 2015 the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development announced the update of the list of business jets permitted to land at Sydney Airport during the curfew.

In relation to the issues raised by the public consultation process, Mr Stone reported that the Minister had decided to retain the grandfathering provisions for existing aircraft, but had asked the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Airservices Australia to monitor curfew movements to assess the impact of the changes.

10.2—Western Sydney Airport update

The Western Sydney Airport Environmental Guidelines were issued on 29 January 2015, and the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be available for public consultation around mid-year.

Mr Hayes put the view that the Western Sydney Airport Environmental Guidelines for the Draft EIS should specify:

  • The intended role of the Second Sydney Airport (SSA) vis-a-vis KSA (e.g. future primary airport, supplementary, overflow etc.?)
  • Expected timeline for construction and operational phases
  • Integration plan (WSA and KSA)—e.g. phasing/transfer of movements from KSA
  • Management/integration of flight paths to avoid conflict and preserve noise sharing
  • In general, how the two airports will interact.

Mr Hayes put the view that SACF needs to be well prepared to make a submission to the Draft EIS and that this will be a task that is beyond the capability of SACF members.

Action 06/01—It was agreed to include an agenda item for the next meeting to discuss the process for SACF to develop a submission on the Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement.

10.3—Curfew Dispensation Report

Twelve curfew dispensations were applied for during the summer period, which saw a lot storms; seven were refused and five were granted.

10.4—Correspondence Report

The correspondence report was noted.

10.5—SACF Phone line

This report was noted.

Agenda Item 11

Other Business

No items of Other Business were raised.

Agenda Item 12

Date of next Meeting

It was agreed to hold the next meeting on Friday 22 May 2015, with a delayed start, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

The Chair encouraged Members to encourage members of their community to put forward questions for consideration under the Community Question Time agenda item.



J Alexander, Chair
S Annand, Representing the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia
D Byrne, Representing the Member for Grayndler
J Bihary, Representing the Member for Bennelong
G Bousamra, Representing the Member for Watson
J Clarke, Representing the Member for Bradfield
D Cobley-Finch, Representing the Member for Sydney
MDonoghue, Representing the Member for Kingsford-Smith
R Edney, Virgin Australia
N Harley, Representing the Member for Reid
B Hayes, Representing the Member for North Sydney
K Hill, Community Representative for the South
M Patrinos, Community Representative for the West
J Patterson, Representing the City of Botany Council
J Pinczewski, Representing the Member for Wentworth
T Plummer, Representing the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited
K Schreiber, Representing the Sutherland Shire
E Simpson, Representing the Mayor of Leichhardt
C Woods, Representing the Mayor of Marrickville

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

S Stone, General Manager, Aviation Environment
J Collis, Aircraft Operations Section, SACF Secretariat

Airservices Australia

P Carroll, Air Traffic Control Line Manager
W Lewis,Air Traffic Control Line Manager

Sydney Airport Corporation Limited

C Norton, Sydney Airport Corporation Limited
J Stewart, Sydney Airport Corporation Limited


A Allanson, Orima Research
R Brent, Aircraft Noise Ombudsman
R Bullen, Wilkinson Murray, Sydney
D Cliche, WestConnex Delivery Authority
A Hede, University of Southern Queensland
E Scully, WestConnex Delivery Authority
C Swann, WestConnex Delivery Authority
T Wunsch, WestConnex Delivery Authority


L Godwin, Jetstar
P Holt, Besmaw Pty Ltd
G King, Rockdale City Council
I Koernicke, Sutherland Shire Council
B Jokovic, Qantas
M Laverty, Office of the Member for Cook
L Sierakowski, Office of the Member for North Sydney
E Sliogeris, Randwick City Council
T Williams, Sydney