By Reuben Brand
As part of its submission to a national aviation white paper, Australia’s largest international airline carrier Qantas has called on the Federal Government to relax the 11pm to 6am curfew.
The proposal comes as Qantas plans to introduce the new Airbus A380, a much quieter aircraft to help ease congestion of the 80 flights per hour at Sydney Airport.
According to a report released by Airservices Australia, the A380 is between 2.3 and 6.7 decibels quieter than the 747-400 when departing from Sydney Airport. The report states that a three decibel reduction is regarded as a halving of an aircraft’s noise energy.
Russell Balding, CEO of Sydney Airport, welcomed the report and said he was satisfied the $120 million investment in upgrades to Sydney Airport’s aviation infrastructure had been put to good use and ensures Sydney receives the benefits of new generation aircraft like the A380.
“As well as being quieter, the A380 is larger – the significance of the A380 is that it can carry more passengers than other aircraft meaning that fewer and quieter A380 flights are required to transport the same number of passengers,’ said Mr Balding.
Residents living under the flight path will be angered if the curfew is lifted, as the cap of 80 flights an hour is already being reached during peak morning and afternoon periods and passenger numbers are set to double to more than 60 million over the next two decades.
Marrickville Mayor Dimitrios Thanos said that any noise relief from new aircraft should benefit the local public and not the billion-dollar corporations who constantly want to push the envelope in terms of their profit.
Scott Morrison, Liberal MP for Cook, said the curfew provides peace of mind for the many residents who live under the flight paths.
“The curfew and cap are totally uncompromisable from the point-of-view of the Liberal Party,” said Mr Morrison.
Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese’s electoral seat of Grayndler is among the worst affected by aircraft noise.
“The original legislation establishing the cap and curfew at Sydney Airport passed the Parliament with bipartisan support – it strikes the right balance between the commercial interests of the airport and protecting the quality of life of local residents,’ a spokesman for the minister said.