Master Plan 2039: Aircraft noise overview


Noise from aircraft operations continues to be one of the most significant environmental issues for people living around airports or underneath or near flight paths.

Sydney Airport works closely with the community, aviation industry and the Australian, NSW and local governments to manage and where possible minimise aircraft noise impacts.  The responsibility to manage aircraft noise impacts at Sydney Airport is shared by many organisations.  As well as Sydney Airport, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Australian, NSW and Local Governments, airlines, aircraft and engine manufacturers, and regulators all play important roles.

Noise sharing is a key aim of the Commonwealth’s Long Term Operating Plan (LTOP), which aims to minimise aircraft noise impacts on residents by ensuring aircraft arrive or depart over water and non-residential areas as much as possible.

Master Plan 2039 assumes that there will be no change to the curfew, movement cap or noise sharing arrangements and no change to the flight paths or runways within the planning period.

Key points

The responsibility to manage aircraft noise impacts at the airport is shared by many organisations, including Sydney Airport.

The roles of Sydney Airport in relation to noise management are to:

  • Provide and maintain on-airport infrastructure to facilitate noise sharing
  • Support the use of quieter next generation aircraft
  • Ensure guidelines are in place to control noise generated by engine ground running and respond to ground-based noise complaints
  • Publish relevant and accurate information about noise impacts that can be easily accessed, including an ANEF and other noise descriptors such as flight path movement charts, frequency-based aircraft noise charts and respite charts

Sydney Airport actively participates in the Sydney Airport Community Forum, responding to aircraft noise and related environmental issues at Sydney Airport.

Sydney Airport supports ICAO’s ‘Balanced Approach’ which is based on the following four pillars:

  • Noise reduction at source with quieter aircraft and noise-reducing engine/wing technologies and advancements in airframe design
  • Land use planning and development controls to safeguard and protect local communities from aircraft noise disturbance and passive noise control programs
  • Noise abatement operating procedures in the air and on the ground
  • Operating restrictions imposed on certain aircraft types and airport runway use and hours of operation
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