Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Directions/Civil Aviation as made
This Direction made pursuant to section 16 of the Air Services Act 1995 requiring Airservices Australia to implement progressively the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan.
Administered by: Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015 s12 item 04
Registered 06 Feb 2009










1.      On 20 March 1996, I directed Airservices Australia to report to me by 16 December 1996 on a proposed long term operating plan for Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport (the Airport) and associated airspace based on four principles specified in that direction;


2.      On 16 December 1996, in response to that direction, Airservices Australia provided me with a report entitled “The Long-Term Operating Plan for Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and Associated Airspace” which contained proposals for a long term operating plan for the Airport;


3.      On 26 February 1997, acting in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 and the Administrative Procedures made thereunder, I designated the Department of Transport and Regional Development (the Department) as the proponent in relation to the implementation of the proposal for a long term operating plan for the Airport (the proposal);


4.      On 11 June 1997, acting in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 and the Administrative Procedures made thereunder, the Department provided a Proponent’s Statement to the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories in relation to the proposal;


5.      On 22 July 1997 the Minister for the Environment determined, in accordance with paragraph 3.1.1(b) of the Administrative Procedures, that neither an environmental impact statement nor a public environment report is required for the purpose of achieving the object of the Act in regard to the proposal;


I, John Randall Sharp, Minister for Transport and Regional Development, acting under subsection 16(1) of the Air Services Act 1996 (‘the Act’) DIRECT Airservices Australia, consistent with the requirements of the Act, to implement progressively the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan in accordance with the schedule.


Dated this 30th day of July 1997.









1.      Definitions


“Airservices Australia Report” means the document entitled “The Long-Term Operating Plan for Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and Associated Airspace” prepared by Airservices Australia and provided to the Minister for Transport and Regional Development on 16 December 1996 in response to the Minister’s direction of 20 March 1996.


“the Plan” means the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan as set out in this direction.


“Proponent’s Statement” means the document entitled “Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan Proponent’s Statement” prepared by the Department of Transport and Regional Development and provided to the Department of Environment, Sport and Territories on 11 June 1997 in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 and the Administrative Procedures made thereunder.


2.      Flight Paths


Airservices Australia should implement the general structure and layout of the flight paths shown in the maps in the Airservices Australia Report incorporating the amendments indicated in the Proponent’s Statement and including any adjustments necessary to meet the detailed design of the airspace arrangements and to satisfy safety requirements.


3.      Runway Selection


3.1    Airservices Australia should introduce runway selection procedures as described in Chapter 6 of the Airservices Australia Report to facilitate the more equitable sharing of the impact of aircraft noise, taking into account forecast or prevailing weather and traffic levels including the balance between arrivals and departures. The modes of operation should be changed throughout each day, when traffic and weather conditions permit, to provide respite from noise affecting residents in different areas.


3.2    Subject to paragraph 3.3, Airservices Australia should make available for use runway modes 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, and 14A (as described in the Airservices Australia Report).


3.3    Operations under the Plan should not include runway mode 8 in the first instance. Runway mode 8 may be introduced at a later date if experience indicates that it would contribute to the Plan’s objectives.

3.4    Subject to paragraph 3.1 Airservices Australia should:


(a)    discontinue the current noise abatement requirements which mandate changing to, or continuing the use of, runways 16L and 16R for arrivals and departures (in a southerly direction) when there is up to 5 knots of downwind; and


(b)    adopt new runway selection criteria to:


•           give preference to over-the-water operations (Mode 4) to minimise residential overflights;


•           restrict the dedicated use of the east-west runway (Modes 12 and 13) to circumstances when weather requires use of these modes; and


•           interchange use of the other modes to ensure a fair sharing of unavoidable aircraft noise subject to weather and traffic demands.


3.5    Where traffic levels and disposition allow, preference should be given to the use of Runway 34L for arriving traffic when runways in that direction are in use subject to it assisting, and not detracting from, attainment of the noise sharing goals.


4.      Safety Review


Airservices Australia should undertake formal safety analyses of the operational components of the Plan prior to their implementation. An independent review of safety issues by an independent third party with international expertise should also be undertaken.


5.      Implementation and Monitoring Committee


5.1    Airservices Australia should establish an Implementation and Monitoring Committee whose membership should include two community representatives appointed by the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, the aviation industry, the Federal Airports Corporation, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Department of Transport and Regional Development. The Committee should be chaired by a senior official of Airservices Australia, and report through Airservices’ Chief Executive to the Minister. The Committee should have terms of reference shown in Attachment A.


5.2    Airservices Australia should initiate, through the Implementation and Monitoring Committee,


•        a study into the patterns of runway use by long haul aircraft;


•        further development of the arrival flight paths to the north of the airport (known as the ‘trident’) to reduce the concentration of air traffic on the Runway 16 localiser tracks;


•        an assessment of the noise exposure benefits of ICAO A and ICAO B departure procedures;


•        an examination of the merits of requiring propeller aircraft departures on runway 34L to commence no further north than Taxiway B10;


•        an examination of viable systems for disseminating monitoring information to the public;


•        a review of the location of permanent noise monitoring terminaIs (plus any additional noise monitoring terminals) in light of the new operating arrangements under the Plan; and


•        the development of a program of short term deployment of portable noise monitors to provide data to residents in areas where significant problems are identified.


6.      Matters for Further Advice


Airservices Australia should provide advice to the Minister for Transport and Regional Development on:


•        the need for aircraft to track through Botany Bay Heads after departure from Runway 16R to achieve separation with traffic approaching to land on Runway 34L when simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations are in use; and


•        the costs and benefits of installing an Instrument Landing System on Runway 25.


7.      Noise Monitoring


7.1    Airservices Australia should produce Australian Noise Exposure Index (ANEI) contours on a quarterly (and cumulatively up to 12 months) basis with the first quarterly ANEI to be produced for the quarter commencing 1 October 1997.


7.2.   Airservices Australia should produce an Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) for the Airport as soon as it is possible to provide robust forecasts on future traffic movement patterns. In the interim the Australian Noise Exposure Concept (ANEC) contours should be updated on a six monthly basis.


7.3    Airservices Australia should maintain and enhance the responsiveness of the Noise Enquiry Unit through appropriate staffing and equipment and access to the best available noise monitoring methodology.


7.4    Airservices Australia should add permanent noise monitors to the present noise and flight path monitoring system where appropriate to allow monitoring of aircraft noise in areas affected by changes to flightpaths made as a result of the Long Term Operating Plan. Additional mobile noise monitors should be purchased to improve the effectiveness of responses to noise complaints and improve the coverage of monitoring information.


8.      Reporting


Airservices Australia should publish regular reports on the performance of the Plan using a set of standard indicators which the public can understand and follow overtime. There should be an annual report and a report at least each quarter.


9.      Miscellaneous


9.1    As recommended in the Airservices Australia Report, Airservices Australia should ensure that equipment and staff resources are adequate to satisfy the objectives of the Plan.


9.2    Airservices Australia should remove the West Pymble beacon from service at the earliest possible time.


9.3    Airservices Australia should undertake, as a matter of priority, the simulation and evaluation of alternatives to the departure track to the south on the 163 VOR radial.


9.4    Aircraft tracking from Sydney to Bankstown during the curfew period, 2300-0600, should be tracked at 3000’ via non populous areas of the Royal National Park and Holsworthy military areas.


9.5    Airservices Australia should implement, in conjunction with the Australian Defence Force, the in principle agreements for changes to military airspace surrounding Sydney.


10.    Ongoing Review


Airservices Australia should keep the Plan under review to respond to experience and changes in the pattern of aircraft movements with a view to ensuring that the overall integrity, intent and targets of the Plan are met. Proposed changes to the elements of the Plan should be tested with the public through the Sydney Airport Community Forum before being implemented.










To assist the achievement of the integrity, intent and targets of the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan, the Committee shall:


•        Monitor the distribution of noise, flight paths and runway movements which arise out of implementation of the Long Term Operating Plan.


•        Provide reports on the results of the monitoring to the Sydney Airport Community Forum (SACF) and the broader community on a regular basis.


•        Comment on potential changes to operational procedures under the Plan which will improve the aircraft noise environment in the Sydney area.


•        Oversight the conduct of specific studies relating to aspects of the Plan.