Frequently asked questions

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Need for an airport

Why an airport for Western Sydney?

As a region of two million people, Western Sydney has around nine per cent of Australia's population. By the early 2030s, a further one million people will call Western Sydney home. The proposed airport will support this growing population by creating more jobs closer to home and better connecting businesses to national and international markets.

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Establishing an airport in Western Sydney would generate substantial economic activity and employment opportunities for the region. For Stage 1 of the proposed airport, the EIS has found that the project will benefit Western Sydney by generating an estimated:

  • 2,660 direct and indirect jobs in the peak year of construction activity;
  • $1.9 billion in value add for Western Sydney over the construction period; and
  • 8,730 direct jobs in airport operations, and an additional 4,440 on-site business-park jobs by the early 2030s.

As the proposed airport grows in response to increasing aviation demand, the economic and employment benefits will also increase. By the early 2060s, the proposed airport is forecast to generate over 60,000 direct jobs and $1.5 billion in value add for the Western Sydney region.

Why doesn't the Government lift the curfew at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport so it can accommodate more planes?

Even if operational restrictions were removed at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, it could not meet Sydney's long-term aviation needs. The 2012 Joint Study on aviation capacity in the Sydney region identified that the demand for passenger journeys in the Sydney region is forecast to more than double over the next 20 years, to approximately 87 million passengers by 2035. This will double again by 2060.

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The Joint Study concluded that the only effective way to meet additional aviation demand in the long term, and to ensure the continued efficiency of aviation in the Sydney basin, is to develop a new airport in the Sydney basin.

Without more aviation capacity, the 2012 Joint Study found that by around 2027, new services would not be able to be accommodated at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport unless another service were cancelled, and that by around 2035 there will be practically no scope for further growth of regular passenger services.

Why doesn't the Government build high-speed rail instead?

High speed rail and aviation cater for different demands and travel markets. A high-speed rail system linking Sydney to other major cities would not address many of the key drivers for aviation growth in Sydney. In particular, the growth in international travel and domestic travel outside of the east coast of Australia. As such, the decision to construct and operate a high speed rail network should be assessed on its own merit and should not influence the decision to expand aviation capacity in the Sydney region.

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Location of an airport for Western Sydney

Why was Badgerys Creek selected as the site for an airport in Western Sydney?

The airport site at Badgerys Creek is approximately 1,780 hectares, which is almost twice the size of Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport. It will allow for development of an efficient and modern airport, which would provide long term aviation capacity and economic benefits to the region.

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Planning has ensured the airport layout makes the best use of the site, while minimising impacts on surrounding communities and preserving land for the airport's long-term growth.

The 2012 Joint Study on aviation capacity in the Sydney region assessed 80 sites across 18 locations in the Greater Sydney region. Consistent with previous studies, Badgerys Creek was found to be the best site.

The site was recommended for a number of reasons, including:

  • the proximity to road and rail transport links;
  • its ideal position to deliver jobs and economic growth for Western Sydney; and
  • the reservation of the site for the development of an airport and the area around it being largely protected by planning restrictions from incompatible development.

Will the proposed Western Sydney Airport impact the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area or make the area lose its World Heritage status?

In recognition of preserving the natural environment and Australia's obligations under the World Heritage Convention, the EIS considers potential impacts on the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area from the proposed Western Sydney Airport.

The EIS found that operation and construction of the proposed Western Sydney Airport will not have a significant impact on the World Heritage Values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area or result in attributes of the World Heritage Area being lost or damaged in any way.

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At its closest point, the 1.03 million-hectare Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is approximately seven kilometres from the airport site. The EIS found that no direct impacts on the World Heritage Area from the construction and operation of the proposed airport are expected.

Detailed assessment was undertaken of possible indirect impacts from aircraft overflights, including consideration of a number of tourism and wilderness areas within the GBMWHA. While the amenity of wilderness areas within the World Heritage Area has the potential to be impacted by an increase in aircraft overflight noise, this would generally be limited as aircraft are expected to be higher than 5,000 feet and most would be more than 10,000 feet above sea level when passing over the GBMWHA.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Will there be any impact on aerial fire-fighting and hazard-reduction services over the Blue Mountains area?

No. An airport at Badgerys Creek would not prevent firefighting and hazard reduction services from taking place.

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An airport at Badgerys Creek can operate safely in the vicinity of aerial firefighting and hazard reduction services over the Blue Mountains and in the Sydney basin. Emergency services aircraft and commercial air traffic routinely operate safely and efficiently throughout Australia, allowing aerial firefighting to occur alongside the operation of existing airports.

To conduct aerial firefighting, helitankers—such as aircranes and Erickson Aviation's well-known "Elvis" helitanker—are often deployed in Australia. While these aircraft are capable of flying at altitudes of up to 15,000 feet, they need to descend to significantly lower altitudes (at around 150–1,500 feet) in order to target bushfires on the ground.

Airservices Australia, as the provider of air traffic control services, closely manages aircraft operating around airports and during flight. This includes aircraft conducting emergency services operations, where Airservices Australia would prioritise accordingly.

Airservices Australia also works with the Bureau of Meteorology to advise pilots of hazards as appropriate, such as smoke caused by bushfires or controlled burning. Where smoke does reduce visibility at an airport, usual procedures for flying in low-visibility conditions would apply.

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Airport operations

What will the proposed airport look like?

The Airport Plan provides a land use plan and an indicative concept design for the proposed Western Sydney Airport. It sets out the Australian Government's strategic vision for the development of the proposed airport for both Stage 1 (the initial development) and the long term. The animation video in the Western Sydney Airport Portal provides a useful conceptualisation of the indicative concept design.

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Operations are expected to start in the mid-2020s with a single, 3.7-kilometre runway in the north of the site positioned on a north-east/south-west alignment. The runway will be capable of handling the full range of international and domestic passenger and freight aircraft.

The terminal and associated infrastructure would be designed to accommodate up to 10 million passengers a year, a similar size to Adelaide Airport today.

The proposed airport would also include a business park, parking and cargo facilities, along with environmental conservation zones to reduce the airport's environmental impact and manage native vegetation and heritage values along creek corridors.

Will an airport at Badgerys Creek operate without curfew?

An airport at Badgerys Creek has always been planned to operate on a curfew-free basis. NSW Government planning controls have been in place for a number of decades which have largely prevented incompatible developments around the airport site.

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Curfew-free airports provide significant benefits to communities and businesses by supporting growth in local, regional and national economies. Melbourne Airport's curfew-free status allows for the movement of an extra two million passengers a year and adds $590 million to the Victorian economy through visitor spending.

While the proposed Western Sydney Airport is planned to operate without curfew, demand for flights at night would not be as high as demand during the day. The majority of flights would be in the 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm peak periods.

What are the flight paths and when will they be finalised?

Designing and finalising flight paths is a large and complex task that takes several years to complete. Before the opening of the proposed airport, a comprehensive airspace planning and design process will be undertaken with ongoing community consultation and a focus on minimising flights over residential areas.

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Indicative flight paths and aircraft approach and departure paths have been developed for the proposed airport by Airservices Australia. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assesses noise and other impacts based on these indicative flight paths.

For more information on the indicative flight paths and the flight path design process, read the factsheet Flight paths for Western Sydney Airport.

Is a point merge still planned for the proposed airport?

In response to community feedback, the Australian Government has determined that the indicative arrival flight paths depicting a single point merge over Blaxland will not be implemented and that there will not be a single merge point over a single residential community.

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The indicative flight paths developed for the EIS have enabled a valid and contemporary assessment of the impacts of aircraft operations at the proposed Western Sydney Airport for the purposes of the EIS. This, in turn, has provided the opportunity for the community and stakeholders to consider the design of the indicative flight paths and express their views about the assessed impacts at an early stage of the process.

As the design process for the flight paths continues, the community will continue to be consulted. The Australian Government is committed to working closely with the community to ensure the best outcome for both residents and the safe and efficient operations of the airport.

More information can be found in the factsheet Flight paths for Western Sydney Airport.

Will fog reduce the operational capacity of the airport?

The analysis of the proposed Western Sydney Airport takes into account the meteorological conditions at the site. It is recognised that fog in Western Sydney is possible during all months of the year, and often for extended periods of time.

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While fog is relatively common in Western Sydney, it is not unique and many high functioning airports in Australia and around the world face similar issues. Modern airport and aviation technology and processes mean that aircraft can land safely in dense fog and when visibility is low.

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Jobs

How many jobs will be created as a result of the airport development?

The proposed Western Sydney airport is a once in a generation opportunity to deliver jobs, skills and growth to the community in Western Sydney during both its construction and operation.

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An Airport for Western Sydney will be a major generator of economic activity during both its construction and operation.  Over the period of construction for the Stage 1 development (one runway and up to 10 million passengers a year) over 11,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created.

In the early 2030s the proposed Western Sydney Airport is expected to provide nearly 9,000 direct jobs.  This will grow to over 60,000 direct jobs by the early 2060s. This is equivalent to approximately 750 jobs per million annual passengers and is consistent with comparisons of employment generated at other airports in Australia and overseas.

In addition to the jobs required for on-site airport operations, the development of a possible business park on the airport site could generate an additional 4,440 jobs during Stage 1 operations.

Will jobs be available for people in Western Sydney?

Airport-related jobs will provide opportunities for Western Sydney residents to work closer to home, allowing them to spend less time commuting and improve their quality of life. The proposed Western Sydney Airport is expected to generate a range of jobs across the full range of sectors for workers with various skills and qualifications, including in construction, engineering, transport and logistics, warehousing, retail, professional services and hospitality.

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Economic analysis in the EIS shows that during construction and operation, the overwhelming majority of jobs will be based on the airport site itself. In addition, the EIS found that employment growth resulting from the proposed airport will be faster in Western Sydney than in any other part of Sydney. This means that jobs will be created closer to where people live in Western Sydney

Experience at other Australian airports shows that the majority of employees live locally to the airport. For example, at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, which employs nearly 30,000 people, more than three-quarters of workers live within 20 kilometres of the airport.

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I am interested in working for the Western Sydney Airport project. How can I be involved?

At this stage of the planning process there are no potential business or employment opportunities at the proposed Western Sydney Airport.

To keep up to date with information on business or employment opportunities when it becomes available, you can register on the Subscribe page to receive email updates on the project.

The Airport Plan, the right of first refusal and next steps

What is the Airport Plan?

The Airport Plan, as determined by the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, authorises the construction and operation of Stage 1 (one runway) of the Western Sydney Airport to occur. The Airport Plan includes details on the concept design, the land-use plan for the airport site, and indicative layout, air traffic forecasts, and noise contours for the Stage 1 development as well as an overview of longer term development. Environmental and operational conditions have also been placed on the Stage 1 development of the airport, which must be complied with. These conditions will ensure mitigation measures detailed in the Environmental Impact Statement will be implemented.

When will construction start?

The construction phase is expected to commence in 2018. However, work is already underway to prepare the airport site for construction, including clearing some structures and closing minor roads. As Badgerys Creek is a greenfield site, there is significant work that needs to be done to prepare the site. For example, high-voltage power lines and The Northern Road that crosses the airport site will need to be relocated.

What is the right of first refusal?

As part of the 2002 Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport sale agreement in 2002, the purchaser was provided with the opportunity to develop and operate a second major airport in the Sydney region, within 100 kilometres of the Sydney GPO. This is known as the right of first refusal. The sale agreement also details the process and timeframes under the right of first refusal.

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As Badgerys Creek site is located approximately 56 kilometres from the Sydney GPO, Sydney Airport Group has the first right to develop and operate the Western Sydney Airport.

The right of first refusal consists of two clearly defined phases: a consultation phase; and a contractual phase. The consultation phase began on 30 September 2014 and was completed on 30 November 2016. The contractual phase consists of a formal contract, called the notice of intention (NOI) issued to Sydney Airport Group.

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What is the notice of intention (NOI) and what does it say?

The notice of intention (NOI) sets out the Commonwealth’s detailed contractual terms for the development and operation of the Western Sydney Airport. Sydney Airport will then advise the Australian Government of its decision.

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The NOI aligns with the recently approved Airport Plan and binds the airport operator to the environmental conditions placed on the development by the Minister for the Environment and Energy.

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What happens next with the NOI and the Western Sydney Airport project?

Sydney Airport Group will now consider the contractual terms and decide if it will take up the opportunity to develop and operate the airport at Badgerys Creek. Sydney Airport Group will now consider the NOI and advise the Australian Government of its decision.

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While Sydney Airport Group considers the offer, the Australian Government is continuing necessary work preparing the site, including clearing structures, undertaking geotechnical assessments, identifying rail corridors and upgrading roads. Construction is expected to start in 2018.

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What happens if Sydney Airport Group declines the opportunity?

If Sydney Airport Group declines the opportunity to develop and operate the Western Sydney Airport, the provisions of the right of first refusal allow the Australian Government to develop and operate the airport itself or offer it to market. This must be on terms that are not materially more advantageous than those offered to Sydney Airport Group.

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Environmental and social

What will happen to the vegetation on the site?

The airport site at Badgerys Creek is dominated by introduced grasslands, cleared land or cropland with small pockets of open eucalypt woodland and shrubland. While vegetation and fauna habitat at the airport site is in a generally poor condition, there are valuable fragments of ecological communities.

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Construction would require the removal of about 1,150 hectares of vegetation, around 75 per cent of which is introduced grassland, cleared land or cropland. Around a quarter of the vegetation removed would be native vegetation.

An environmental conservation zone would be established on the airport site to allow for the ongoing management of native vegetation and heritage values along Badgerys Creek.

A biodiversity offsets package has also been developed to balance the loss of biodiversity for the Western Sydney Airport Stage 1 development. This package sets the framework for an investment of approximately $180 million by the Australian Government into biodiversity offset activities to conserve threatened species and ecological communities in the Western Sydney region. The package will guide activities to identify and permanently secure suitable offsets in the region surrounding the airport site, resulting in the development of a specific biodiversity offsets delivery plan.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Biodiversity.

Are there animals on the site that will be at risk once operations start?

The airport site is currently home to a variety of birds, reptiles (including goannas, snakes and lizards), bats, frogs and small fish.

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Various measures will be implemented to reduce the potential impacts on biodiversity, such as:

  • staged vegetation removal during construction;
  • pre-clearing surveys and plans for salvaging fauna and habitat resources;
  • relocation programmes for threatened flora and fauna species/populations;
  • design to minimise bird and bat strike;
  • establishing a 117-hectare environmental conservation zone on the airport site to conserve riparian corridors and other features of high environmental value; and
  • relevant Australian biosecurity measures

Further information is available on the fact sheet Biodiversity.

What would the airport operations mean for Warragamba Dam and Prospect Reservoir?

The EIS found there would be a low risk to surface water at either Warragamba Dam or Prospect Reservoir due to emissions from aircraft or from emergency fuel jettisoning (also known as fuel dumping).

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Warragamba Dam is located approximately 11 kilometres west of the airport site and is one of Sydney's major drinking water supply dams. Prospect Reservoir is located approximately 18 kilometres north-east of the site.

The airport site is not located within the catchment area for either the dam or the reservoir.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Water quality and hydrology.

What about fuel jettisoning or fuel dumping?

Fuel jettisoning (also known as fuel dumping) occurs rarely and can only be done under strict regulations enforced by Airservices Australia. In 2014 there were only 10 instances of civilian aircraft jettisoning fuel in Australia, representing approximately 0.001% of all aircraft movements in Australia. There are no recorded instances of jettisoned aviation fuel reaching the ground. As fuel evaporates before reaching the ground, the associated health risk would be very low.

How will the proposed airport impact air quality in Western Sydney?

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) models air quality impacts associated with the construction and operation of the proposed airport. The EIS found that the proposed airport would result in minor changes to air quality in the Western Sydney region. Emissions from the proposed airport will be within relevant standards and represent an increase of just 0.1 to 0.7 per cent of total emissions in the Sydney basin.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Air Quality.

How will the proposed airport affect the ozone layer and greenhouse gas emissions?

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) includes an assessment of existing air quality in Western Sydney, based on information gathered from air quality monitoring stations in and around the airport site.

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Australia's greenhouse gas emissions for the transport sector are predicted to be 115 megatonnes in 2029-30. The airport site would generate approximately 0.13 mega tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions during Stage 1 operations—around 0.11 per cent of Australia's total transport emissions.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Air Quality.

How were health impacts measured?

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) includes a health risk assessment. The assessment found that the health risks associated with the proposed airport would be low and within national and international standards of acceptability.

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This assessment is based on Australian and international standards including the Australian Government Guidelines for Health Risk Assessment, National Health and Medical Research Council Approach to Hazard Assessment for Air Quality and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The key factors considered by the assessment were:

  • Noise—from overhead aircraft and ground based operations at the airport site;
  • Air quality—particulates in the air including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, air toxics, and diesel emissions; and
  • Water quality—water contaminants including hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Health risk assessment.

What will happen to the European heritage items on the site?

The EIS considers the impacts of an airport on the heritage of the site and surrounding areas. A total of 20 European heritage items have been recorded at the airport site and an additional 22 heritage items have been recorded in the surrounding area.

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The EIS recommends a range of mitigation measures to minimise any impacts on places and items of heritage value, including:

  • further archaeological investigations;
  • archival recording;
  • an inventory of moveable items;
  • relocation of remains located in grave sites and potentially relocating some structures; and
  • the staged demolition of structures.

An oral history may also be prepared and the heritage value of the airport site would be considered through the detailed design of the airport.

Further information is available on the fact sheet European heritage.

What will happen to Aboriginal heritage places identified on the site?

The Australian Government recognises the cultural and social importance of preserving Aboriginal heritage.

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A total of 74 Aboriginal heritage sites have been recorded at the Western Sydney Airport site. All of the Aboriginal heritage sites recorded have significance. Construction of the Stage 1 development (one runway and up to 10 million passengers a year) would affect 39 of these sites. To preserve the heritage values, the EIS proposes:

  • in-situ conservation of some sites (including a grinding groove and a scar tree, which are located within the environmental conservation zone at the airport site);
  • recording and salvaging heritage artefacts; and
  • commemorating cultural heritage values at the airport site.

Other mitigation and management measures to minimise the impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage would include:

  • further archaeological investigations;
  • curation and repatriation of heritage items; and
  • protocols for the discovery of artefacts.

Further information is also available on the fact sheet Aboriginal heritage.

Will the cemeteries at the Badgerys Creek airport site be relocated?

There are three cemeteries located on Commonwealth-owned land at Badgerys Creek—St John's Anglican Church, Badgerys Creek Uniting (Methodist) Church and the family graves at the Anchau Winery. Each cemetery has been closed to new burials since the acquisition of the land by the Commonwealth in anticipation of a decision on the location of an airport.

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The relocation of the three cemeteries is being managed by the Commonwealth in consultation with relatives, churches and the relevant New South Wales authorities, to ensure that any necessary work is done in a sensitive and respectful manner.

The Commonwealth undertook a 30 Day Notice Period between 7 March and 6 April 2016 to notify the public of this process and to identify relatives of those buried within the Badgerys Creek cemeteries.

No works to relocate graves have commenced however, a number of preparatory activities are underway. Relocation works are anticipated to commence in the first half of 2017.

If you believe you may have a relative buried in one of these cemeteries, please contact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development .  The Department can be contacted via the following:

What is different in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in comparison to the draft EIS?

The final EIS has been updated to reflect community feedback on the draft EIS.  It includes a submissions report (Volume 5) that addresses responses received through almost 5,000 public submissions to the draft EIS. It sets out a comprehensive analysis of the issues raised and how these issues are addressed in the final EIS.

Other significant changes include:

  • A more detailed explanation and expansion of the chapter that deals with mitigation measures. This is Chapter 28 (Vol 2b) of the EIS.
  • The steps to design and finalise flight paths has been redrafted to reflect Government policy and community feedback.
  • Other chapters incorporate latest modelling, including transport data and water quality information, and additional survey work and a detailed framework for delivery of Stage 1 biodiversity offsets.

Are the findings from the previous environmental assessments still relevant?

Badgerys Creek has been the subject of extensive environmental assessment in the past, including the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in 1985 and again in 1999. The 1999 EIS was rigorous and included extensive public consultation.

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The then Minister said the 1999 EIS was the most comprehensive environmental assessment ever undertaken in Australia and found there were no insurmountable challenges to developing an airport at Badgerys Creek.

Although these previous assessments have provided useful background information, the current EIS is an entirely new environmental assessment. This EIS takes into account current best practice in impact assessment methodology as well as current guidelines and regulatory processes.

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Aircraft noise

How is aircraft noise measured?

The EIS uses a number of different measures to describe the level of noise exposure predicted for aircraft operations at the proposed airport, including:

  • Australian Noise Exposure Concept (ANEC) contours; and
  • 'Number Above' measures (N70 and N60).

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ANEC forecasts are scenario contours, produced for future airport operations on the basis of indicative data on aircraft types, flight paths, operating modes, etc.  It is useful for considering the land use planning consequences of alternative operating strategies and flight paths. The ANECs take into account the anticipated number of movements, types of aircraft (including their noise and how they operate), flight paths and the distribution of traffic throughout the day and night.

'Number Above' measures indicate the expected average number of aircraft noise events per day or night-time period exceeding a particular decibel level, such as 70 or 60 decibels. These are known as N70s or N60s. N70s are generally used as an indicator of potential disturbance to everyday indoor activities such as listening to the radio. N60s are used as an indicator of potential sleep disturbance during the night-time period (10pm—7am).

A noise level of 70 decibels outside a building would generally result in an internal noise level (if windows are partially opened) of approximately 60 decibels.

A noise level of 70 decibels equates to a passenger car travelling on a suburban road. A noise level of 60 decibels equates to an average conversation.

Further information is available on the fact sheet Managing Aircraft Noise.

Are aircraft really becoming quieter?

Technological developments in the aviation industry will continue to help reduce aircraft noise. Current aircraft are much more fuel efficient and quieter than those that preceded them. For example, the noise footprint of the Boeing 787 is 60 per cent smaller than the models it is replacing.

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The noise assessment for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is based on aircraft types that are commonplace today and does not reflect changes to the fleet mix expected in the future. Quieter aircraft such as the Airbus 320neo and Boeing 737 MAX are expected to be introduced during the operation of the proposed airport, while older, louder aircraft like the Boeing 747 are expected to be progressively retired.

Why aren't ANEF contours shown in the EIS?

Australia has adopted the Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) system to guide land use planning around airports. The system describes cumulative aircraft noise for an annual period. The ANEF system includes two measures of aircraft noise exposure—the ANEF and the Australian Noise Exposure Concept (ANEC).

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ANEC forecasts are scenario contours produced for future airport operations on the basis of indicative data on aircraft types, flight paths, operating modes, etc.  They are generally used in environmental assessments to depict and compare noise exposure levels for different flight path options and airport operating scenarios.

ANEF and ANEC noise exposure contours are calculated using the same methods. The substantive difference between an ANEF and an ANEC is the status of the input data. Given the indicative nature of the flight paths used in the EIS it is appropriate to depict noise exposure levels as ANEC contours.

A future airspace design process, including the preparation of final flight paths, is expected to be undertaken closer to the commencement of operations at the proposed airport. This process will provide the basis for development of an official ANEF.

Will there be extra noise generated by cargo and freight aircraft?

Most air freight (approximately 80 per cent) is carried in the hold of passenger aircraft. Dedicated international and domestic freight aircraft account for only 2.4 per cent of movements throughout the year at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.

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Dedicated freight aircraft are often the same models as passenger planes. For example, DHL uses a Boeing 747 and Qantas Freight uses the Boeing 737—the most frequently used plane in its commercial fleet. The noise assessment conducted for the EIS has assumed a passenger and freight fleet mix based on aircraft types that are commonplace today, including the Boeing 747.

How can I tell what the aircraft noise level might be for my home or business?

A noise modelling tool is available to assist you in understanding potential noise exposure levels and what they could mean in the context of land-use planning.

What is ground-based noise?

Ground-based noise is primarily associated with engine testing, also known as engine ground running, and aircraft taxiing between the terminal building and the departure or arrival runway. The Environmental Impact Statement proposes the development of ground-based noise mitigation measures, including possible procedures for managing the noise impacts of aircraft ground running.

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Getting there—transport connections

How will I get to the proposed Western Sydney Airport?

The proposed airport is being designed to be accessible by the full range of ground transport options, including road and rail. On opening, it is expected that transport to the proposed airport will be by the upgraded road network surrounding the airport site.

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As part of the Australian and NSW governments' $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan of road upgrades, a new M12 motorway will be built, linking the proposed Western Sydney Airport with Sydney's existing motorway network at the M7.

The NSW Roads and Maritime Services is managing the M12 Motorway project, with further information available on the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan website.

Options for a future rail connection are currently being considered as part of the Australian and NSW governments' joint Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study.

When will a rail link be established to the proposed airport?

The scoping study announced on 13 November 2015 will consider the best options for future rail investment, including decisions about timing and rail service options to service both the proposed airport and the Western Sydney region. The study will also aim to determine what it would take for rail to be operational when operations at the proposed airport commence or, if not, how soon afterwards.

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Detailed analysis in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) looked at traffic associated with the proposed airport and found that the road upgrades under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan will cater for traffic demand for at least a decade after the airport opens.

In preparation for a rail line, the Australian Government is taking steps to preserve access for rail into and within the Badgerys Creek site. Work is already underway to safeguard space for future stations and preserve a rail corridor on the airport site. More information is available on the Western Sydney's rail future page.

Will the joint scoping study consider an express service to Sydney's CBD?

The study will look at all of the possible options, as well as need, timing and cost. It will consider economic, population and commercial drivers. This will include different rail connections, travel speeds and train service types.

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Property impacts

Will the airport have a positive or negative impact on my property value?

The EIS examines the potential effect on property prices in areas associated with aircraft noise (among other factors). Recent literature explores the potential price valuation effects on lower density, large lot land holdings similar to those found at Badgerys Creek from Melbourne (Tullamarine and Avalon airports) and Perth airport. Based on this analysis, there was no obvious relationship between noise exposure and property prices.

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Similarly, analysis of long-term house prices in Sydney since 1991 found no real difference in the growth rate of median prices in suburbs subject to aircraft noise.

These findings do not necessarily suggest that aircraft noise and airports have no effect on property values. Instead, they suggest that aircraft noise and airports are just one of many factors which could influence house prices. It also implies that other factors such as distance from employment, transport and community services may have a stronger impact on house prices.

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Community consultation and submissions on the draft Environmental Impact Statement

Will there be more community information sessions in my area?

The formal consultation period for the Western Sydney Airport draft Airport Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement—involving information sessions in the community—concluded on 18 December 2015. If you have any questions about the Western Sydney Airport project, you can contact the project team via phone, email or in writing. Visit Contact Us for details.

How can I have my say or find out more?

For more information on the Western Sydney Airport project, you can contact the Western Sydney Airport project team.

How many submissions were received?

Almost 5,000 submissions were received from individuals, community groups, organisations and government agencies.

What happened to my submission?

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development reviewed and collated all submissions received during the public exhibition period from 19 October 2015 to 18 December 2015.

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Comments received during the exhibition period on the draft EIS were taken into account in the process of finalising the EIS. The revised draft Airport Plan was also updated to reflect the community's comments.

A submissions report has been prepared and is included as part of the EIS. A copy of this report has also been forwarded to the Australian Government Department of the Environment as required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Will the submissions be published?

While individual submissions will not be published, the Submissions Report in the EIS outlines the themes and issues raised within the comments and how they have been addressed. Individuals and organisations are free to publish their own submissions if they wish to do so.

Will my personal details included with my submission be disclosed publicly?

Individual submissions will not be published, including personal details.