Risk of night curfews at Perth Airport

9 March 2015 © David Eyre

Perth Airport has warned the WA Planning Commission that if the State Government approves housing developments under runway flight paths, there will be increased pressure for night curfews to reduce aircraft noise.

The Government is currently assessing a proposal to rezone the former Rosehill Golf Course in South Guildford into 800 home sites for about 2000 residents. This would be directly affected by Perth Airport’s third runway, which is to be constructed in the next few years, parallel to and to the east of Horrie Miller Drive.

Perth Airport CEO Brad Geatches queried why the State Government is urging the development of the third runway, whilst also allowing homes to be constructed under the third runway flight path.

Sydney, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Geelong have curfews which restrict or prevent aircraft movements between 11pm and 6am. A curfew at Perth would make flights more expensive and reduce choice, because flights would not be able to operate in and out of Perth during the curfew hours and airlines would not be able to offer cheaper late night flights.

When Perth Airport was built in 1942, there were few residential areas nearby, but commercial interests have been allowed to gradually surround the airport with residential and industrial areas. Perth Airport and Airservices Australia are already being pressured by current neighbouring residential areas to reduce aircraft noise.

Perth is Australia’s fourth busiest airport, with about 150,000 aircraft movements a year. National guidelines recommend homes should not be built near airports where plane noise regularly exceeds 70 decibels, but recent Airservices Australia noise monitoring at Queens Road, South Guildford, showed that nearly 3,500 flights per month generated noise levels above 80 decibels.

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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