Forum on Western Sydney Airport releases preliminary flight paths

Today, a meeting was held by the Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FoWSA) to discuss preliminary proposed flight paths and the noise implications that will operate on completion of the Western Sydney International Airport (WSI).

The purpose of the meeting was to brief local resident representatives, members of the Commonwealth Parliament, industry stakeholders, and regional development groups.

The Australian Government is responsible for leading the development of the flight paths for single runway operations at WSI by the end of 2026 and is currently in the design and environmental assessment phase. 

Before environmental management plans are finalised, arrangements will be made with the NSW Government to ensure the views of relevant state agencies are considered.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including preliminary flight paths, will be publicly exhibited in the second half of 2023, where the government will seek feedback from the community to guide the final flight path design.

The flight path design process developed by the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, is required to consider that overflights of residential areas will be avoided to the maximum extent possible. 

Where avoiding overflights is not possible, the areas should not be overflown by both arriving and departing flights and have noise mitigation measures deployed.

The meeting also showcased a demonstration of the Aircraft Overflight Noise Tool, which will review aircraft noise modelling for the projected operations associated with the runway and apply future forecasts as operations come into effect, including flight paths and the typical number of jet overflights per day.

“I am concerned that the measures for aircraft noise for WSI as indicated from planning documents suggests that the most effective way of protecting communities is land use planning to prevent new residential development in areas where aircraft noise will be highest,” said Mrs McIntosh.

“That has been the case for areas directly adjacent to the airport site for quite some time now, however this is not considering the needs of our community who live in long-standing residential areas.

“Flights taking off and landing at low levels between 2,500 ft to 8,000 ft, with departures across Penrith and arrivals over areas like Cambridge Park, directly impacts Lindsay with aircraft noise.

“Unlike Sydney International Airport at Kingsford, this airport will run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without a curfew. There will also be very little limits to the number of flights per hour, with the first runway planned capable of handling up to 49 aircraft movements per hour at full capacity.

“Like many residents, it is my view that the Government must ensure the public consultation process is extensive and take on board any noise mitigation strategies to prevent a great disturbance to our community’s peace. 

“The meeting did not cover the unreleased draft of the Environmental Impact Statement, so we have not been updated on the potential health, social and environmental impacts that may affect our community. 

“This includes health hazards related to air quality, risks to biodiversity and our natural environment, the effects that noise vibrations may have on houses, as well as economic costs by reducing the amenity of our local area.

“I welcome the local job opportunities, surrounding infrastructure and the growth to our local economy that this airport will bring, but this should not be at the cost to the living standards of people in my community.

“I am not yet confident that the right balance has been struck regarding the flight paths, that sees the needs of my community be upheld against the needs for the rest of NSW. 

“We want to keep this wonderful and vibrant area we call home intact as best as possible for now and well into the future, and we must not be the ones to bear the brunt or be burdened with all the negative outcomes.

“It is imperative that we get this right from the outset, and I will fight to protect the needs of my Western Sydney community.” 

If you are interested in finding out more information on the preliminary flight paths or making a submission, please visit: https://www.wsiflightpaths.gov.au/

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