With the federal government poised to confirm Badgerys Creek as the location of the city’s second airport, Marrickville Council and residents have condemned Sydney Airport’s new master plan, which they argue will increase air traffic and noise over the inner west.
Federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss approved the Master Plan 2033 in February, but disagreed with Sydney Airport’s projections that indicated a second airport would not be required.
Tempe resident Patrick McInerney said it was “ridiculous” that the plan makes allowances for aircraft movements outside the airport curfew times.
“What they’re trying to do is increase the capacity of the airport but also increase the capacity for noise over our area,” he said.
“They are trying to show evidence that there is no need for a second airport. I mean – the curfew was put into place for a good reason and it should be held.”
Mr McInerney supports the second airport at Badgerys Creek because it is expected to create more than 100,000 jobs in Western Sydney and “will minimise the issues that we have with aircraft noise”.
Marrickville Labor councillor Chris Woods said the second airport is the solution to accommodating increased air traffic in Sydney. He pointed out that the master plan predicts passenger numbers and freight to double, yet only proposes an increase of flights by a third.
“A second airport for Sydney would certainly have the ability to handle the spill over if the flight and passenger predictions prove to be inaccurate,” he said.
The Greens Party opposes a second airport but wants Kingsford-Smith to be closed and replaced at another location. Councillor Max Phillips does not contend that another airport would reduce air traffic noise.
“That might mean that all the regional flights and freight aircraft will go to the second airport and that frees up more slots for larger aircraft to come into Kingsford Smith,” he said.
Cr Phillips fears that a second airport could become a “white elephant” that nobody uses and proposes that a replacement airport should be built, but not necessarily at Badgerys Creek.
“If a replacement airport can be found and built then…we should look at closing Kingsford Smith down,” he said.
“That’s what they’ve done overseas when they’ve had inner city airports that are causing too much noise like in Oslo.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said plans for a second airport would not affect the current Master Plan.
“The owners of Sydney Airport will be required to submit a new master plan well before a second airport is operational,” the spokesperson said.
“The government is committed to maintaining the regulatory arrangements in place at Sydney Airport…to balance the needs of the airport and community amenity.”