Who decides where aircraft fly?

The flight paths used by aircraft flying to or from Sydney Airport are decided by an Australian Government agency known as Airservices Australia.

Whether or not a particular flight path is used on any given day will often depend on the prevailing weather conditions. For example, during periods of strong westerly winds, only Sydney Airport’s east-west runway can be safely used. And during strong southerly winds, only the north-south runways can be safely used.

Airservices Australia implements the Australian Government’s noise sharing policy to ensure aircraft noise is shared as fairly as possible between different communities.
Although flight paths often appear as straight lines on maps, they in fact corridors that can be several kilometres wide. Factors such as aircraft type, weight and weather conditions determine exactly where aircraft fly within these corridors.

Back to top