Forum On Western Sydney Airport

The Forum On Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA) will connect the community, the Government and the airport developer during construction of the Western Sydney Airport.

Function and role

The establishment of FOWSA is a key condition in the Western Sydney Airport Plan. FOWSA will provide a communication channel for the community's engagement in the development of the airport and ensure community's views are taken into account.

Together with the Expert Steering Group, FOWSA will play an important role in the airspace and flight path design process for Western Sydney Airport. The Australian Government will retain responsibility for delivering the airspace and flight path design for the Stage 1 development (a single runway) of the Western Sydney Airport.

It is anticipated the first meeting of FOWSA will take place at the end of May 2017. This website will be updated with meeting minutes and information about the work of FOWSA as they become available.

For more information about the role, structure and governance of FOWSA, read the Terms of Reference PDF: 331 KB ReadSpeaker.

Membership

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure, announced the membership of FOWSA on 10 April 2017. Minister Fletcher also confirmed Professor Peter Shergold AC as FOWSA's chair.

The members of FOWSA include residents of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains who have a wide range of skills, experience and involvement in their communities, ensuring that FOWSA will be a robust forum for community engagement. FOWSA also includes a range of members from the state and local governments, industry, and major airlines.

The full FOWSA membership includes:

  • Professor Peter Shergold AC (Chair)—Chair and Chancellor, Western Sydney University;
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne—Senator for New South Wales;
  • Dr Mike Freelander MP—Federal Member for Macarthur;
  • Ms Anne Stanley MP—Federal Member for Werriwa;
  • Mr Christopher Patterson MP—New South Wales State Member for Camden;
  • Mr Mario Bayndrian—General Manager, Aviation, Sydney Metro Airports Bankstown and Camden;
  • Mr David Borger—Western Sydney Director, Sydney Business Chamber;
  • Ms Joanne Bromilow—Resident of Blaxland;
  • Mr Damian Callachor—Senior Manager, Government, Industry and International Affairs, Qantas;
  • Ms Adriana Care—Resident of Camden-Narellan;
  • Ms Kiersten Fishburn—CEO, Liverpool City Council;
  • Mr Bob Germaine—Executive Officer, Regional Development Australia—Sydney;
  • Mr Gordon Henwood—Resident of Mulgoa;
  • Mr Mike Higgins—CEO, Regional Aviation Association of Australia;
  • Mr Jacob Idiculas—Resident of Bossley Park;
  • Ms Fiona Mann—Strategic Activities Planner, Hawkesbury City Council;
  • Ms Alison Morgan—Director, Sydney Region, Regional Coordination Branch, New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet;
  • Mr Luke Nicholls—Director, City and Community Outcomes, Blue Mountains City Council;
  • Mr Adrian Slootjes—Manager, Air Traffic Management and Meteorology, Virgin Australia;
  • Cr John Thain—Mayor, Penrith City Council;
  • Mr Paul Tosi—former General Manager, Campbelltown City Council;
  • Mr John Walton—Resident of Silverdale; and
  • Mr Wayne Willmington—Resident of Luddenham.

Membership appointments are intended to stand for the duration of the flight path design process. However, it will be possible for the membership to change where circumstances require, for example, when a member is no longer in a position to be on the forum. Any new members will be appointed by the Minister for Urban Infrastructure in consultation with the independent chair.

Officers from the Department, Airservices Australia and the airport operator (once appointed) will also be involved with FOWSA in an advisory capacity.

Professor Peter Shergold AC

Professor Shergold will bring a wealth of experience and leadership skills to the important role as independent chair of FOWSA. His appointment will be for a two-year term, with a possibility of extension.

As Chair and Chancellor of Western Sydney University since 2011, Professor Shergold leads one of Western Sydney's most cherished and dynamic institutions. He has also led a number of public, private and not-for-profit organisations and bodies.

His career in the Australian Public Service culminated in his role as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet—Australia's most senior public servant—meaning he will bring valuable public policy knowledge and experience in dealing with complex issues to FOWSA.

In addition to his role in FOWSA and his roles at Western Sydney University, Professor Shergold is a non-executive Director at AMP Limited. He is also a member of the State Library Council of New South Wales.

Professor Shergold was made a Member of the Order of Australia for public service in 1996, and became a Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the community in 2007.

Flight path design process

The creation and implementation of FOWSA will be the first important step in commencing the flight path design process. This process is a large and complex task which will take several years to complete. In designing the flight paths, certain key principles will apply, such as:

  • avoiding overflights of residential areas and noise-sensitive facilities as much as possible;
  • ensuring aircraft arrivals will not converge through a single merge point over any single residential area;
  • using head-to-head operations to and from the south-west, when it is safe to do so, in order to manage aircraft noise at night; and
  • consulting the community, aerodrome operators and airspace users extensively before referring the final flight path designs to the Environment Minister under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

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The flight path design process covers four main phases:

  1. Planning (approximately 2 years);
  2. Preliminary design and environmental assessment (approximately 3 years);
  3. Detailed design (approximately 1 year); and
  4. Implementation (approximately 2 years).

Community consultation will be ongoing, with extensive opportunities for comment in the first two phases. This will lead to the preferred airspace design being referred to the Environment Minister under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999.

More information on the flight path design process is available on the factsheet Flight paths for Western Sydney Airport.

How can I get in touch with FOWSA?

A key role for FOWSA members will be to inform their communities about planning and progress for the Western Sydney Airport project, including the flight path design process. Members will raise their communities' concerns at FOWSA meetings so these concerns can be taken into account.

If you have any questions about FOWSA, you can contact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's Western Sydney Unit by email at FOWSA@infrastructure.gov.au.