No change to night-time flights at Perth Airport

7 Aug 2015

Airservices Australia has decided not to proceed with a proposed flight path trial for night-time departures to the south of Perth Airport.

A detailed environmental analysis of the proposed trial was completed at the end of July and revealed that changes for aircraft departing to the south from Runway 21 may result in a net increase in the number of Perth residents affected by aircraft noise rather than a decrease. Therefore, a trial would not provide any substantial noise improvement for the community.

In March 2015, Airservices announced three proposals to change how or where aircraft fly at Perth. These investigations were subject to completing environmental assessments and community consultation processes.

The first initiative, implemented in May 2015, was a change to the ‘preferred runway’ procedure. The change will bring a benefit to the Swan River area southwest of Perth Airport by reducing the number of nights when the departure runway to the south is used, by an average of 25 per cent.

The second change, to introduce Smart Tracking navigation technology and move part of an arrival flight path to the southeast of the airport over the Perth Hills, is planned to start in September 2015. This is expected to provide some noise improvement to areas around Bickley and east of Kalamunda. There will also be incremental noise improvements for the areas directly to the south of the airport, including Canning Vale.

The third change proposed a flight path trial to provide night time respite from aircraft departing to the south using Runway 21 between 10 pm and 5 am. Aircraft would continue to fly in a straight line from the runway until reaching Jandakot Airport, where they would be turned to the southwest until reaching 8000 feet before being directed to head north. This trial is not proceeding.

Airservices Executive General Manager Safety, Environment and Assurance, Dr Rob Weaver, said analysis showed implementing this change would not result in a net noise improvement for Perth residents.

“Airservices aims to implement the best overall noise outcome for the community by considering Perth air space holistically—we don’t consider proposed changes to one area in isolation to other areas.

“We understand that those Perth residents living along the Swan River flight corridor who would have benefited from the proposed trial will be disappointed.

“We acknowledge the concerns of residents for whom we have not been able to make a change to help them. Airservices is constantly seeking noise improvement opportunities and we are confident we have explored all currently available options for change.”

Since 2010, Airservices has considered 31 noise improvement opportunities for the greater Perth area and will shortly have implemented 10 changes in total. The remaining proposals were either unable to be safely implemented or implemented without causing a significant noise impact for residents.

Airservices has advised the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO) of the noise improvements being investigated for Perth and of our decision to implement these two initiatives.