Dear ScoMo, Where Are The Western Sydney Airport Flight Paths Going To Go?

Dear ScoMo, Where Are The Western Sydney Airport Flight Paths Going To Go?

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Dear Scott Morrison, 

Where are the flight paths going to go? The people of Western Sydney, the Hills District and the Blue Mountains have a right to know.

We call on the Australian Government to announce the flight paths for Western Sydney Airport now.

If you don't have the flight paths, we call on the government-owned Western Sydney Airport Corporation to stop all works on the site until the flight paths have been announced, assessed and approved. 

Stop spending our public money on this airport project without telling the public where the flight paths will be.

 

Summary 

  • The Australian government has started construction on the Western Sydney Airport using taxpayer money
  • The airport will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Within 10 years there will be one flight overhead every 7.3 minutes
  • This will have a serious impact on communities across western Sydney, the Blue Mountains and as far afield as Hornsby and the Hills Shire. 
  • Aircraft noise is proven to cause increased risk of heart attack, disturbed sleep (waking through the night) and cognitive impairment in children, including delayed reading ages, poor attention and increased stress
  • Independent assessments by engineers show that noise levels will be 'significantly higher' than estimates in the Environmental Impact Assessment suggest
  • The government and Western Sydney Airport Corporation refuse to show local communities the flight paths
  • Local communities have a right to know how their lives will be affected by the new airport
  • It's time to demand action on flight paths: local communities deserve to know where the flight paths are going to go.

 

So really, what’s the story?

The Australian Government has started construction on a new airport in Western Sydney. It is one of the most ambitious, controversial and expensive infrastructure projects of our time.

This airport, scheduled to open in 7 years, will run 24 hour operations, all day and all night with no curfew.

This airport is less than 16km from Penrith, Glenbrook, Mt Druitt and Camden, and even closer to Sydney's primary water supply at Warragamba Dam and the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park. 

The Government has already started construction on this taxpayer-funded airport, but they still haven’t told the community where the flight paths will go. 

When do they plan to tell us? 

After the airport is built and it's a done deal. 

Is that ok with you? 

 

Wait - didn’t they already tell us the flight paths? 

Yep, you’re right. The Government released the flight paths in 2016, but it didn’t go so well.

As soon as people saw where all these massive planes were going to fly there was a huge public outcry

And that’s fair enough. Aircrafts flying low 24 hours a day, all day and all night, 7 days a week? No one wants that going on over their heads. 

So what did the Government do? 

Well, they said that the flight paths are only ‘indicative’. Let’s talk about the flight paths later. Even though the flight paths are the single most important factor that will impact people living anywhere near the airport. 

And then they started building. 

What?

With our tax money.

What?

Yes, that’s what happened. 

It's time for the Government to come clean. 

 

‘How’s the serenity?’

Anyone who’s seen The Castle knows that when planes take off it’s a bit bloody loud

Rattle your bones and freeze your mind kinda loud.

The planes taking off and landing at Western Sydney Airport have to fly over somewhere. 

Don’t you want to know if it’s going to be over your home?

Sign this petition to ask ScoMo what's the go. 

 

The Big, Noisy Plan (hush hush)

So how many planes will actually be coming in to Western Sydney Airport, 24 hour a day, 7 days a week?

Here’s what we’re looking at, according to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)*:

Within 10 years

   198 / day          72,270 / year

Within 30 years

   554 / day         202,210 / year

by 2063

   1110 / day        405,150 / year

So within 10 years, we’re talking about one flight every 7.3 minutes, all day and all night. 

Within 30 years it will be every 2.6 minutes.

Do you want these flying over your head? 

*Predicted flight movements (landing or take off) at Western Sydney Airport

 

How loud will it really be?

This year, two retired engineers - one with decades of experience in acoustics - travelled to Pymble and Mays Hill to record real life aircraft noise. 

Pymble and Mays Hill are roughly the same distance from Sydney Airport as Blacktown and Blaxland will be from the Western Sydney Airport. 

Using two sound level meters, they tracked and measured 330 flights, recording the noise levels to present to the Blacktown City Council. 

Here’s what they found:

The EIS dramatically underestimated the noise pollution we can expect from Western Sydney Airport. 

The noise level data in the EIS was all estimated by computer modelling, which does not match real-life measurements.

The EIS predicted an Airbus A320 would generate 70dBA at 5km from the airport.

Based on their real life measurements, the engineers reckon 70dBA up to 20 km from the airport is more realistic.

Their conclusion: we can expect much higher levels of noise much further from the airport than stated in the EIS.

Sign this petition to ask ScoMo what's the go. 

 

How loud is 70dBA?

dBA is a measure of sounds audible to the human ear. And every 10dBA increase makes a BIG difference. In fact, Every 10dBA increase is twice as loud.

40dBA is like being in a library

50dBA is like a quiet conversation at home

60dBA is like a conversation in a restaurant or office. 

70dBA is like a vacuum cleaner, or the sound of a major freeway from about 15 metres away

80dBA is like being in a room with a blender or a garbage disposal running. 

FYI: the Western Sydney Airport EIS (p. 178) identifies noise above 55dBA as ‘increasingly dangerous for public health’.

 

How close are you to Western Sydney Airport?

Within 10km 

  • Greendale
  • Glenmore Park
  • St. Clair
  • Warragamba

Within 16km

  • Erskine Park
  • Colyton
  • Penrith
  • Emu Plains
  • Glenbrook
  • Oran Park
  • Camden
  • Blaxland
  • Mt Druitt

Within 20km

  • Rooty Hill
  • Wetherill Park
  • Liverpool 
  • Wallace

Within 26km

  • Campbelltown
  • Casula
  • Blacktown
  • Baulkham Hills area 

Within 30km

  • Bella Vista
  • Windsor

According to the EIS, people living in Badgerys Creek, St Marys, Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill, Colyton and Warragamba are likely to be most vulnerable to the effects of noise (and air and water) pollution from the proposed airport.

But even suburbs as distant as Hornsby and the Hills District look like they’ll be hit with increased aircraft noise.

 

Does noise pollution matter?

According to the World Health Organisation, environmental noise pollution is not good for your health. They say it increases the risk of:

Heart disease

Insomnia 

Cognitive impairment in children, such as delayed reading ages, poor attention levels and high stress levels

Annoyance

Stress

Mental health problems

You can read the full report on the health impacts of noise pollution in Europe here.

 

The Western Sydney Airport EIS identifies three major health risks:

Sleep disturbance (measured as awakenings)

Myocardial infarction (heart attacks)

Impacts on learning and cognitive development in children.

Sign this petition to ask ScoMo what's the go. 

 

Noise and the natural world

According to the Australian Academy of Science, noise pollution also has a negative impact on wildlife, even entire ecosystems. 

The Western Sydney Airport is about 8km from the edge of the UNESCO listed Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. People from across Sydney and all over the world visit the Blue Mountains to retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, returning renewed and refreshed. 

The indicative flight paths in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) go straight through the heart of the Blue Mountains

It’s not good for people or nature, and it’s not good for business

 

Why do we need to know the flight paths now?

The airport can’t go ahead without approved flight paths. 

The EIS says that new flight paths can only be implemented following detailed consideration of ‘potential noise abatement opportunities and extensive community consultation, and final approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority'

So what are they waiting for?

When the EIS was released, chapters on human health and noise pollution were based on ‘indicative flight paths’, not real flight paths. 

Even now, with construction underway, communities don’t know where the flight paths are going to go and how they will affect us. 

Why would you build an airport without approved flight paths?

It’s time for the Government to check in with the community and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. 

Sign this petition to ask ScoMo what's the go. 

 

PR Stunts and Fancy Marketing

In 2019 the Government used part of their $5.3 billion, taxpayer-funded budget to launch a multi-million dollar visitor centre to promote the airport to the public. Reporters were not impressed. ScoMo was 'pumped'

We want the government to stop putting money into fancy marketing centres and show us the flight paths


But is it even worth worrying about the flight paths? Are there any alternatives?

Yes! The Government hasn't given high speed rail a fair go. High speed rail has less negative impacts on communities, will employ many people over many years, is more efficient and will create a stronger economy for NSW.

Even the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, thinks high speed rail deserves a closer look.

And just quietly, it wasn’t so long ago that she was opposed to the Western Sydney Airport altogether.

7 years, to be exact.

So, what next?

 

In our hands, not over our heads

The Government would love it if we let them keep on sinking our public money into building this new airport without demanding to know the truth about the flight paths. But we don’t buy that. 

It's time for the community's voice to be heard

It’s time for the government to come clean. 

 

If you have a go, you get a go

We're having a go. 

Tell us now or stop the show. 

We call on Scott Morrison to announce the flight paths for Western Sydney Airport now.

ScoMo: If your team at the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (in collaboration with Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) has not prepared the flight paths yet, we call on the Government and Western Sydney Airport Corporation to stop all works on the site until the flight paths have been announced, assessed and approved. 

Stop spending our public money on an airport until you tell us us where the flight paths will go.

Sign this petition to ask ScoMo what's the go. 

Tell us now or stop the show. 

Image with thanks to the Daily Telegraph

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!