Aircraft Noise Problems Continue For Neighbouring Residents

A report in the Age Newspaper by Doherty (2014) found that:

“Sydney Airport has failed to meet its aircraft noise-sharing targets every year since they were set 17 years ago, with suburbs immediately north of the airport bearing up to double the number of planes set by the airport’s operating plan as fair”.

According to targets outlined in Sydney Airport’s long-term operating plan (LTOP) 55% of runway end movements were to be to the south of the airport over water. This requirement would ensure that as many flights as practical would utilise flight paths over water (Botany Bay) or non-residential areas.

With the majority of aircraft utilising flight paths from the south over Botany Bay, the rest of aircraft traffic were planned to be shared over surrounding communities as evenly as possible.


Adapted from Doherty (2014) and Air Services Australia (N.D) pp. 176

Doherty's 2014 article highlights the fact that the airport has not met its LTOP targets for aircraft traffic over the north of the airport of 17% of total air traffic with:

“Some areas having more than 30% of flight traffic every month for the past three years and regularly having more than double the target.” Between 2001 and 2007, 27.54% of planes flew north of the airport—this figure has increased further in recent years to sit currently at 30.91%.


Adapted from Doherty (2014) and Air Services Australia (N.D) pp. 176

Doherty highlights noise as a continuing issue for Sydney Airport due to modelling forecasting showing that:

“By 2020 there will be no unused slots for aircraft movements during peak times, and by 2027 there will be no free slots at any time of the day. At Sydney Airport’s full capacity the ability to use the east-west runway will diminish further as larger modern planes can only utilise the longer north-south runways.”

Residents of suburbs surrounding the airport are greatly affected by the loud aircraft noise. Sydenham resident Carl Ruhinda explained to Doherty 2014 that:

“The noise is unbelievable; the planes feel like they are just above your head. I run an online business from home and if I am on the phone when a plane comes over, we can’t hear anything at all. The planes are…very disruptive.”

According to a report published in 2004 on the effect of noise on health, apart from hearing loss, commissioned by the enHealth Council (2004, pp. 27) noise adversely affects the level of: • annoyance • Sleep disturbance • Children’s school performance • Cardiovascular health

These are just some of the adverse effects to which residents of suburbs bordering Sydney Airport may be exposed.

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• Gaps, openings and vents exposed to outdoors in ceiling and roof constructions • External doors • Windows • Fireplaces and chimney flues • Walls

With the constant need to build cheaper, lighter houses, the requirement for acoustic insulation is often ignored. This can lead to poor privacy and unacceptable levels of background noise (such as flyover noise).

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This ability makes Wavebar the ideal product choice for residences affected by flyover noise as it can: • Reduce noise transfer in walls and ceilings • Control external noise interference from aircraft, traffic and rain • Increase performance of existing structures through retrofitting over existing walls and covering with plasterboard.

Reference List
1. Doherty, B, 2014, ‘Sydney Airport has never met plane noise-sharing targets’, The Age, retrieved 25 June 2014 from
2. Doherty, B, 2014, ‘Sydney Airport missed noise targets’, The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 25 June 2014,
3. Doherty, B, 2014, ‘Sydney Airport’s runway dependence means more noise for inner west residents’, The Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 25 June 2014,
4. enHealth Council (Department of Health and Ageing – Population Health Division), 2004,’The health effects of environmental noise – other than hearing loss’, enHealth Council, retrieved 26 June 2014
5. Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) 2014, Master Plan 2033, Sydney Airport Corporation Limited, retrieved 26th of June 2014,


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