Getting the flight paths right for Western Sydney Airport

Media Release

PF059/2016

06 May 2016

Joint release with:

Louise Markus

Federal Member for Macquarie

Russell Matheson

Federal Member for Macarthur

The Turnbull Government has listened to community views on flight paths for Western Sydney Airport and will not implement a ‘point merge’ over the Blue Mountains community of Blaxland.

Western Sydney Airport, due to open in the mid-2020s, will bring game-changing opportunities to residents of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. By the early 2030s, it is expected to provide nearly 9,000 direct jobs. By the early 2060s, this would increase to over 60,000 direct jobs.

As well as giving local residents access to thousands of jobs in their local area, Western Sydney Airport will boost local tourism by bringing many more domestic and international visitors to the area, and offer more convenient air travel to the millions of people living in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

But it is very important that the new airport operates in a way which addresses concerns about flight paths and aircraft noise so as to meet the expectations of the community.

There is a careful and thorough process underway to develop a comprehensive plan on these issues, based on extensive community consultation. A draft environmental impact statement was issued in 2015, and some 5,000 responses were received. The final EIS is now being developed for submission to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment in the second half of this year.

The Turnbull Government has determined, based on community feedback received to date, that the single merge point over Blaxland as illustrated in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be part of the airspace plans for a Western Sydney Airport.

Allocating the flight paths to minimise the individual impact on any one point will form part of a comprehensive noise mitigation plan to be contained in the final EIS.

Developing optimal flight paths to minimise noise and environmental impact requires detailed technical work and expert input. That work is underway, with a clear direction given that the flight paths will not merge to a single point over Blaxland.

The Turnbull Government fully recognises the need to minimise noise impacts for the people of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains and we will continue to work with the community as the airspace design moves forward.

Western Sydney and Blue Mountains MPs, Russell Matheson, Louise Markus, Fiona Scott and Angus Taylor and Senator for New South Wales, Marise Payne, are strong advocates for their communities—and are fighting for an airport plan which delivers powerful economic benefits to their constituents while minimising environmental and noise impacts.

This week the Turnbull Government's budget committed $115 million towards further works on Western Sydney Airport—demonstrating that we are getting on with the job of delivering this vitally needed project.