Sydney restrictions outdated, says airport chief

Sydney restrictions outdated, says airport chief
By admin

Sydney Airport has urged the government to act on a report by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) which identified "small changes" to make the airport more efficient and attract additional international flights to the city.

It called for more flexible curfew restrictions to take into account unavoidable conditions such as the weather, an increase in the number of slots in shoulder periods and changes in the way the cap is managed.

Current restrictions hamper the airport's efficiency and "don't reflect modern aviation".

The airport highlighted the recent bad weather as an example of the "inflexible curfew restrictions" which caused thousands of passengers to be diverted from Sydney because flights were not allowed to land after the 11pm curfew.

"Sydney Airport has the capacity and the infrastructure to service Sydney as its primary airport, it's just not being fully utilised due to a range of restrictions that don't reflect modern aviation," managing director Kerrie Mather said.

"Permitting just 11 more services during the shoulder period each week would double the number of slots over the year and would have minimal impact on residents if these slots were restricted to quieter new-generation aircraft like the A380."

How the cap is managed should also be changed, she said, arguing the current system of administering flights in 15 minute blocks often results in delays as air traffic control is required to hold flights because the cap has been exceeded.

The recommendations in TTF's report could result in a range of improvements to capacity, productivity and the passenger experience as well as reducing aircraft noise and emissions, Mather said.

Longer term, officials backed calls for utilising secondary airports in the Sydney basin for operations that are not core to tourism or business.

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