Badgerys Creek infrastructure and noise impacts

Posted: April 16, 2014 in Transport, Urban planning
Tags: , , ,

A new airport at Badgerys Creek would be an infrastructure package for Western Sydney that was “roads first, airport second” according to the Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday. Today he is expected to announce with the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell that $3.5bn would be provided to fund these roads, with 80% being paid for by the federal government and the remainder by the state government. According to the Daily Telegraph, these include:

2014-04-16 Badgerys Creek roads

No federal funding will be provided for rail infrastructure, with Mr Abbott maintaining his commitment to leave the funding of urban commuter rail exclusively to the states. However, there are also plans for an extension of the currently under construction South West Rail Link (SWRL) through to Badgerys Creek Airport, then through to the Western Line via a rail tunnel under the airport. Concerns have been raised that if this rail tunnel is not built concurrently with the airport then the cost of doing so would rise by billions of dollars.

However, although a SWRL extension has been identified as a corridor that needs to be protected, it has not actually yet been protected. Nor has a corridor from Badgerys Creek to the Western Line nor an Outer Sydney Orbital for a future M9 freeway that would link a Badgerys Creek airport both North and South.

Though identified and proposed, corridors to extend the South West Rail Link to Badgerys Creek and then North to the Western Lineand an M9 freeway providing North-South connections to the airport (both shown in purple) have not yet been protected. Only corridors shown in green have actually been protected. Click to enlarge. (Source: NSW Transport Master Plan, p. 210)

Though identified and proposed, corridors to extend the South West Rail Link to Badgerys Creek then North to the Western Line and an M9 freeway providing North-South connections to the airport (1, 4, and 10 respectively – all shown in purple) have not yet been protected. Only corridors shown in green have actually been protected. Click to enlarge. (Source: Transport for NSW, 2012 NSW Transport Master Plan, p. 210)

The decision to go with Badgerys Creek is the final nail in the coffin for Wilton as a potential airport site. Wilton was not only much further away from the Sydney CBD than Badgerys Creek, but it did not benefit from proximity to Western Sydney as Badgerys did. This is what separates Badgerys Creek from Avalon in Melbourne, to which it is often compared to. Due to the location of Melbourne’s two airports, there are few parts of the city which are closer to Avalon than the main Tullamarine Airport. However, in Sydney anywhere West of Parramatta is closer to Badgerys Creek than Kingsford-Smith at Mascot.

Badgerys Creek Airport relative to Kingsford-Smith and Wilton. Click to enlarge. (Source: Author, with Google Maps)

Badgerys Creek Airport relative to Kingsford-Smith and Wilton. Click to enlarge. (Source: Author, with Google Maps)

This proximity to urban settlement has also been posed as one of Badgerys’ main disadvantages, primarily due to aircraft noise. However, according to Bob Meyer, Planning Director with Cox Richardson Architects and Planners, the noise impact from Badgerys Creek would be significantly lower than that from Kingsford-Smith, with aircraft noise from Kingsford-Smith affecting inner city residents by a factor of 30 to 100 times as much as a Badgerys Creek Airport would affect Western Sydney residents:

“At the 2011 census, at Badgerys Creek Airport, there were 2,913 dwellings within the 20 ANEF contour and 328 dwellings within the 25 ANEF contour.
At the 2011 census, at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, there were 86,017 dwellings within the 20 ANEF contour and 29,457 dwellings within the 25 ANEF contour.”Bob Meyer, A Sydney West Airport, p. 5 (2013)

This is largely due to around 90% of the flight path operating over the Western Sydney Employment Area. Established residential areas are not reached for about 20km, the equivalent of Macquarie University at North Ryde for Kingsford-Smith Airport. Those 2,913 dwellings that are affected can be provided with noise insulation.

Aircraft noise from Badgerys Creek will primarily occur over industrial lands, shown in purple. The first major residential area is Greystanes, East of the Prospect Reservoir. Click to enlarge. (Source: Bob Meyer, A Sydney West Airport, p. 6)

Aircraft noise from Badgerys Creek will primarily occur over industrial lands, shown in purple. The first major residential area is Greystanes, East of the Prospect Reservoir. Click to enlarge. (Source: Bob Meyer, A Sydney West Airport, p. 6)

If the Western Sydney Employment Area were superimposed on the Kingsford-Smith Airport flight paths, then the first major residential area would be in North Ryde. Click to enlarge. (Source: Bob Meyer, A Sydney West Airport, p. 6)

If the Western Sydney Employment Area were superimposed on the Kingsford-Smith Airport flight paths, then the first major residential area would be in North Ryde. Click to enlarge. (Source: Bob Meyer, A Sydney West Airport, p. 6)

Even with new residential developments in the nearby South West Growth Centre (SWGC), the direction of flights and industrial land buffer between residential areas and the proposed airport site mean that noise concerns can be kept to a minimum. The map immediately below, created by combining the noise contour map and SWGC, shows the high noise contour lines passing through industrial lands, Kemps Creek, the Western Sydney Parklands, and Austral. Though Kemps Creek and Austral were initially zoned entirely residential, they have since been re-zoned so that areas of it which were to be affected by aircraft noise are now also industrial (see final image).

Aircraft noise from Badgerys Creek and the South West Growth Centre. Most areas affected by high noise levels are industrial. Click to enalrge. (Source: Cammo2004 using Infrastructure Australia and NSW Department of Planning.)

Aircraft noise from Badgerys Creek and the South West Growth Centre. Most areas affected by high noise levels are industrial. Click to enalrge. (Source: Cammo2004, using Infrastructure Australia, p. 333, and NSW Department of Planning.)

Northern parts of the South West Growth Centre affected by aircraft noise that werte initially zoned residential have now been rezoned industrial. Click to enlarge. (Source: NSW Department of Planning)

Northern parts of the South West Growth Centre affected by aircraft noise that werte initially zoned residential have now been rezoned industrial. Click to enlarge. (Source: NSW Department of Planning)


  1. nicholas says:

    The cost of that motorway is about 9 orders of magnitude off, no?

    Those protected corridors are interesting, especially the ghost corridors which seem to permanently off the table, such as extending the Prospect Highway and the Castlereigh Motorway. The Georges River Parkway corridor sounds interesting, though: is it suitable as a future HSR corridor?

  2. JC says:

    Bambul, the maps are really helpful and BC supporters would be well placed to take them up. A lot of the historic opposition to BC was based on misplaced transfer of expected noise impacts from the 3rd runway fiasco. If the Hawke/Keating government had got BC up and running before/instead of the 3rd runway we would be in quite a different place now.

    We need to find a way to lever public transport into the “big roads” spend. Perth and other places have shown the benefts of building PT into roads (how much cheaper would ECRL have been in the median of the M2 rather than tunnel??). The roadbuilders need to provide space – if not the actual rails – for light/heavy rail in their developments, paid for out of the tolls. And BC developers should be forced to include the cost of a Leppington to BC extension of the SWRL as an integral part of the Airport capital spend.

  3. Ray says:

    The Parramatta to Macquarie Park light rail link in the middle of the Eastwood County Road reservation is an example.

  4. MrV says:

    This airport build is shaping up to be a farce. Why the emphasis on the road build with rail as an afterthought? How long is it actually going to take to get to this airport, especially by an all stops train? Most importantly what airlines are actually going to use this airport? Haven’t heard anything about this. I doubt it can be justified as a domestic only airport initially as some suggest, the current Airport is better located.
    Looks like a build it and they will come exercise. So many questions so few answers.

  5. @MrV –

    Trip duration depends on where you are coming from or going to. If it is between Badgersy Creek Airport (BCA) and Western Sydney, then it will be much faster than Kingsford-Smith Airport (KSA). Liverpool is 20 minutes from BCA but 30 minutes from KSA, while Parramatta is 30 minutes from BCA but 40 minutes from KSA. This assumes no delays, which are much more likely around KSA than BCA because of proximity to the Sydney CBD.

    For many people, KSA will remain the preferred option. But not everyone, and the proportion of people for whom it is preferable will only fall over time as Sydney’s centre of gravity shifts West.

    Rail is useful for high capacity. So initially a few local and express bus routes should suffice until the airport ramps up in size. My gut feeling is that a rail line is more likely to be warranted soon because of development of the South West Growth Centre or for freight purposes, rather than for passenger traffic to/from the airport.

    Qantas has declared that it will operate out of Badgerys:

  6. michblogs says:

    “Aircraft noise from Badgerys Creek will primarily occur over industrial lands, shown in purple. ”

    The problem with this caption from the second map above, is that it is not really very true. Most of the purple area is not “industrial land”, it mostly seems to be rural residential land. In fact, the areas which are actually industrial, such as Wetherill Park, are not shown as such on the map at all.

  7. @michblogs –

    Most of the South West Growth Centre is currently rural farmland. What matters is how that land is zoned for development: residential or industrial.

  8. MrV says:

    Bambul, you have raised more questions than answers. If the airport starts out small as you suggest, will the airlines be able to fill flights, particularly international ones. Will the average tourist want to fly there, particularly with a bus or expensive taxi the only transport option? Doesn’t really matter what Qantas says it will do, but what all the others do as we’ll. Clearly Q can’t unilaterally depart KSA as that would free up plenty of space for all the others. At the rate it is going Q could very well be a smaller player by then anyway. I can’t see Emirates wanting to move out there unless the facilities are top notch, ie a large international airport – which puts the starting small idea out of the question.

  9. @MrV –

    It won’t start as an international airport, nor will it replace the existing airport. It is a growth airport for the growing region of Western Sydney, as well as a freight hub for the industrial heart of Greater Sydney which currently lacks either a seaport or airport. It also has the potential for 24/7 operation, which the current airport does not.

    The continued insistence that the only sort of traveller is either destined or originates from the Sydney CBD or inner suburbs surrounding it ignores these facts. A resident of Liverpool or Parramatta, as well as someone going to either of these locations, will prefer Badgerys. As will many others. Not everyone will want to use Badgerys, but not everyone will want to use Mascot either.

  10. MrV says:

    Don’t misunderstand me I’m certainly not suggesting all traffic is destined for the CBD or inner suburbs. But when you are discussing the international tourist one must consider where they will fly to. It makes no sense to build this thing to be completely uncompetitive given the single runway design – some reports give the runway of insufficient length for laden 747/A380 as well as the poor passenger infrastructure to begin with. As you say the only competitive thing I can see is 24hr operation and closeness to Western Suburbs. But will this be enough to fill planes is my question? Certainly it would make sense to shift some freight there, but passenger flights and to where, who knows?
    The cost in the future of upgrading runways/rail infrastructure etc will be huge. An example is the cost of widening a motorway by 1 lane which costs more than the original motorway did.

  11. Ray says:

    I can’t understand the attitude of all you naysayers who fail to appreciate that Sydney Airport has a finite capacity, particularly in the peak periods, when most airlines want to schedule their services. It has a relatively small land area with no potential to expand to accommodate future demand. It sounds like you either live in Eastern Sydney or are apologists for the owners of Sydney Airport.

    No one from Eastern Sydney will be forced to travel to a Badgerys Creek Airport, because Sydney Airport will continue to be the principal airport for the Sydney Region. Badgerys Creek Airport is likely to be curfew free, something which Sydney Airport is not, and If you want to take advantage of cheaper flights or more convenient arrival times in Asian and European destinations, then the option is there for departures during Sydney Airport’s curfew period which would not otherwise be available. That also includes domestic connecting flights, something which Melbourne and Brisbane are able to offer. That doesn’t even take into account the economic benefits which will flow through to Western Sydney with airport related industry including air freight. To suggest that Sydney, as Australia’s major international airline hub, shouldn’t have the potential to increase its airport infrastructure capacity and a curfew free airport is ludicrous.

    I am totally in agreement with Bambul, Badgerys Creek Airport is a game changer for Western Sydney and in fact for the whole of Sydney.

    As for the noise impacts, assuming the runway alignment is the same as previously proposed (North East/South West), the area immediately north east of the proposed runways will be over the proposed Western Sydney Employment Area as far as the M4 Motorway, equivalent to the distance from Sydney Airport to Macquarie Park, which will have minimal impact on residential areas. The area to the south west is largely undeveloped and is likely to be restricted for future residential use.

    It is perfectly logical for the new airport to have a staged development and it will obviously be upgraded and expanded as the demand warrants. That doesn’t mean there would be any extraordinary expense in adding to the infrastructure that is already there.

  12. QPP says:

    I agree with Ray and Bambul

    I don’t hate KSA but an alternative option is very welcome. When the airport is built and the transport links are in I can see me being able to get there by road (from Wahroonga) probably in slightly more time than it takes to KSA but with way less hassle – and hassle is something I can always do without when flying, since the process itself creates so much

    I think it will be a game changer for Western Sydney and for the SW Growth Centre in particular. And I think it is great that a major facility is going where it should, ie somewhere we are trying to promote growth that won’t increase existing congestion & constraints in a central/eastern location.

    As far as international tourists go, I don’t honestly think they care very much where they are flying in to. Our isolation means few come here for short journeys, so if you’re here for two weeks, what difference does it make if it takes you 30 mins to the CBD or 45-60? Plenty of major international airports servicing major cities are at least as far out as BC. Your international tourist, IMO, cares much more about saving $100 off his/her fare than which airport he lands at.

    And anyway, how much of the market are the ITs? The worst bit about KSA, the bit that really grinds my gears, is the domestic terminals, and specifically the awful traffic & parking. Any time of the day, it’s a pain in the backside, I loathe driving there and even more so picking people up. Any airport that does away with that will have a big plus point from me. Spend an extra 10 minutes in relatively uncongested conditions using NorthConnex, M2, M7 and straight into BC for a “new airport” experience, or flog down the Pacific Highway hoping there’s no b***dy accident to get gouged and stressed out at KSA car park, when on a one-day business trip? No brainer

  13. Ray says:

    You’re totally on song there QPP.

  14. Dudley Horscroft says:

    A lot of useful points here. JC is right in suggesting that: “We need to find a way to lever public transport into the “big roads” spend. … The roadbuilders need to provide space – if not the actual rails – for light/heavy rail in their developments, paid for out of the tolls. And BC developers should be forced to include the cost of a Leppington to BC extension of the SWRL as an integral part of the Airport capital spend.”

    So a motorway (or any road) via Leppington should have a median wide enough for the rail line. Whether there will be a motorway there is another matter, but this could conceivably be a suitable road route for people/goods from the southern portion of Sydney. Obviously not suitable for Wahroonga, though.

    MrV is right: “I doubt it can be justified as a domestic only airport initially as some suggest, the current Airport is better located.” Bambul says: “Liverpool is 20 minutes from BCA but 30 minutes from KSA”. A journey of 50 minutes from BC to the CBD is ridiculous for a domestic journey when flight times from KSA to Tullamarine are about 83 min and to Brisbane about 84 min. Gatwick Airport is 43 km from central London, travel time 30 min (may be up to 35 min in the peak hour). On the basis of BC being about 51 km west of Sydney CBD the journey time should be of the order of 36 – 40 min.

    But on the basis of flight times of up to 22 hours from London, and around that from most European capitals, ditto USA, a journey of 50 min would not be too much of a disadvantage.

    Qantas may say it will move to BC – Bravado!!! When it comes to competition, no international airline and no domestic airline will move unless forced to. And in that is the solution. Shift ALL the international airlines – no worries about curfew – and leave KSA to the domestic airlines – not so much worried re curfew. Plenty of space for the domestic airlines with the two major termini.

    This would be a boost for hotel development in the BC area, and a boost for a fast rail trip to Central – 40 min with one stop at Liverpool.

  15. Dudley Horscroft says:

    BTW, consider getting fuel to the airport. Pipeline? Road tankers? No, the logical way to do so is to use rail.

    The maximum fuel capacity of an A380 is quoted as 320 000 litres. Assuming that the SG of jet fuel is 0.8 (same as paraffin) this is 256 tonnes. Today’s departure board shows 46 international departures from 0600 to 1200. Not all will take full loads, as all with arrive with some fuel on board, and some are not going far – eg Auckland/Wellington. Guessing the average over all 43 flights is an uplift of 150 tonnes, that is 6 900 tonnes. A very comfortable daily train load, an extremely uncomfortable truck load through the streets of Sydney.

    On the basis of keeping fuel tankers off the streets as far as possible, this would go a long way to justifying a rail line.

    Also, consider that if BC were for International carriers only (plus possible overnight domestic freight), then this would be no longer an “urban commuter rail” for the State to pay for, but an essential part of the airport infrastructure.

  16. AK says:

    I’m sorry but these maps are a furphy especially the noise maps. Look at the flight paths – then you will know the noise. Once you do you see it does hit major populated areas.

    The geography of Badgerys Creek means that planes won’t be able to really take off or approach from the south west due to the mountains. Looks like only one place on the net I can find an environemental impact statement from back then is at Basically because of turnback planes a lot more landmass in western sydney will be affected than Kingsford Smith.

    i.e Flight paths from Kingsford Smith look more like this than what you are showing Those areas all complain of high noise right now if you look at the noise complaints survey on the government’s infrastructure website (yes they have those survey’s – most complaints are outside the noise corridor as they don’t expect it).

    Western Sydney people do not fly as much as the people east of them – that’s in some of Government’s reports too; therefore this is an airport for the east of the Sydney, yet the west will wear the consequences. The against case hasn’t put their facts well on the internet, and I think that’s sad because western sydney will pay the price. They do not have a CBD that will offset the pain of living near an airport.

  17. MrV says:

    What a load of nonsense by suggesting those who have raisied serious issues live in the East or are shills for Sydney Airport Corp. Way to raise the standard of debate

    Firstly I don’t think anyone is disputing the need for a second airport, the debate is as to what the nature of this airport will be, whether the approach taken is a good one, and whether the infrastructure will be there to support all the projections (some might say fantasies) the community has on the issue.
    Dudley has given a pretty good summary above of some of the issues – the fuel being a particularly good one!

    Given what has initially been proposed as far as one runway less than 3km long goes, I would suggest that all turboprop small regional planes will be first to get moved from KSA, followed by budget airlines and some (primarily non-business) domestic routes. This would free up considerable capacity at KSA both at the gate level and also air corridors for well into the forseeable future. I think a KSA curfew extension is possible, maybe 5am to 1am but it would be on the priviso of using the latest type of engine (for example).
    Freight will greatly depend on what DHL, FedEx and UPS etc want to do.

    Given that it has taken 15yrs to implement a contactless smartcard for train travel, I have serious doubts about what has been achieved with 30yrs of ‘planning’ for a second airport. The announcement with no rail to speak of is not reassuring. So far all we know is as long as some politicians have a ceremony in 2016 and turn over some soil it will all be a resounding success!

  18. QPP says:

    @ AK

    “The geography of Badgerys Creek means that planes won’t be able to really take off or approach from the south west due to the mountains”

    Come on. We’re not talking about the Alps within 2km here. Do you really think flight paths to or from the southwest would be significantly impacted by the lowish plateau we like to call “the mountains”?

  19. Simon says:

    A runway equal to or shorter than 3km at BC would be an abomination and prevent most freight flights out of the airport. It would also stop airlines flying long international flights with large planes curfew free unrestricted.

  20. Ray says:

    MrV, I think you need a reality check. The decision on Badgerys Creek Airport has been made and after countless years of investigation and debate, it’s pointless trotting out the usual arguments trying to undermine it. I stand by my earlier comments and I’m entitled as much as you are to support a particular position and I take exception to your assertion that I have lowered the standard of debate. As I said, the decision has been made. End of story!

    You’re living in fantasy land if you think the curfew would ever be relaxed at Sydney Airport, regardless of what justification can be made for it, because the political reality is that it would be a very brave incumbent government of either political persuasion to impose it on a volatile electorate around Sydney Airport, and I suggest it would be impossible.

    Even if it was possible, that’s not really the issue. The major constraint at Sydney Airport is the lack of slots during peak periods when most airlines want to schedule their services. Shifting all regional airlines to BC is also unlikely, although some will obviously transfer, because it would cause a major backlash in the bush. Sydney Airport just doesn’t have the land mass to accommodate additional runways to meet future demand. Even the 3rd runway, which can’t support the larger international aircraft, limits its potential capacity. Extending it further into Botany Bay would risk political oblivion, when the option would be available to increase capacity through a new airport.

    As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing set in concrete (pardon the pun) about the length of the initial runway. It could be 3,000m or 4,000m. The detailed configuration has yet to be finalised, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t constructed to the longer length to accommodate larger international aircraft. I understand that the ultimate configuration is for twin parallel 4,000m plus runways. Whether cross runways are proposed (as at Tullamarine in Melbourne which has provision for twin parallel cross runways) remains to be seen, although they would probably require a larger site.

    With regard to air freight, most of the logistic freight terminals are now being located along the M7 Motorway corridor, so BC would be a logical destination for domestic and international air freight forwarders.

    The issue of rail access to BC is not in question. The Federal Government acknowledges that a rail connection to the Sydney CBD is necessary and a corridor should be reserved, but the State Government will have to pay for it. That doesn’t mean to say that a future government, whether Liberal or Labor, wouldn’t chip in for the cost. The State Government has already planned for a future extension of the South West Rail Link (via the BC airport site) to at least the Western Line and possibly to the North West Rail Link (although incompatible, but that’s another story).

    There seems to be a disproportionate concern about the transfer of BC travellers to the CBD. The reality is that not ALL BC travellers will want to travel to the CBD. Many (and I suggest a sizable number) will want to travel to other destinations within the Sydney Region, particularly in Western Sydney, so the perceived disadvantage for the majority of travellers is a bit of a furphy.

    AK, in an earlier post, had suggested that the flight paths to and from the south west of the proposed BC runways would inhibit aircraft from taking off and landing because of constraint of the Blue Mountains. The flight paths don’t actually fly over the Blue Mountains, but over the Southern Highlands, which are a far less physical constraint, considering the distance from BC. You also overlook the fact that with modern aircraft navigational aids, it is no longer necessary to approach an airport in a straight line trajectory, not that it is particularly relevant in this instance. The Richmond RAAF Base has an east/west runway far closer to the Blue Mountains and that has never been a constraint on its operation.

  21. AK says:

    @ QPP

    The EIS link I posted shows that this is indeed the case and planes will at least turn to Penrith for 40% of takeoffs once of the most populated areas of outer western Sydney. Where is your information to say otherwise? None of the flight paths go straight through the mountains I wonder why.

  22. AK says:

    @Ray I did not suggest that at all. If mountains were a constraint on flight paths there wouldn’t be an airport at all. However because planes don’t have to land or takeoff in a straight line anymore (because of those fancy computers you mention) that means unfortunately a lot more areas than the above “noise maps” suggest will be hit by noise. Those noise maps imply a straight line landing and takeoff.

    Indeed when the airport is operational only then will the people of Western Sydney realise they have been lied to – that’s the root of my objection to this article. The EIS implies that the mountains impose some constraint otherwise there would be no need for planes to “turn back” to land and takeoff from the SE end of the runway. Correct me if I’m wrong with some data – would love to be wrong in this case.

    BTW that presentation by Bob Meyer (or at least his report) is associated with the Western Sydney Airport Alliance, a lobby group dedicated to pushing the airport through by any means necessary. I remember reading a quote from them – to use the media and whatever they can to lobby for the airport. I don’t see Bob Meyer who is quoted in this article as being “impartial”.

    Western Sydney is being sold a bunch of lies particularly the residents of Penrith from what I can see on the flight plans proposed. The truth should be presented to all residents and then if the airport is still deemed worthy by them then I have no complaints. But they should be consulted and told the truth about proposed flight paths and how this will affect them.

  23. @AK –

    The presentation by Bob Meyer was made in February 2013. The Western Sydney Airport Alliance did not exist at that point, coming into being around June 2013. I don’t see how someone can be tarnished with being associated with an organisation that does not exist, and then using that non-existent association as a basis to challenge their impartiality.

    But if supporting an airport at Badgerys Creek makes someone impartial, then you’ll struggle to find an impartial expert because there is almost consensus agreement in support for Badgerys outside of the few politicians who remain in a post no aircraft noise political bubble.

  24. AK says:

    The “Wester Sydney Community Forum” (WSCF) to my knowledge is very much associated with the WSAA; in fact it is on their webpage as part of their agenda. That report is on their website is it not? That community forum has been around since the 80’s according to they “History” page.

    It may be consensus to the people living on the east of Sydney but to the west I don’t think there’s a consensus at all. The only difference IMO is they won’t be heard because no one really cares for them; and they want to have a better travel experience when they go on holiday once a year.

    My point still stands: People should be told the real facts about the airport even if those facts DO support the airport. My objection is that the facts that were around 10 or so years ago that killed the airport then are not out now and the facts being shown are selectively chosen. That may not suit what you want to happen; but the truth should still be out there for public record for all infrastructure projects. To be transparent my bias would be that the land be rezoned as an employment area (there were plans to do so by the NSW government should the airport not proceed) and still do the rail and road upgrades – that would give the best “long term” benefit for that region.

  25. Ray says:

    The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), after many years opposing the Badgerys Creek Airport site, now fully supports it. Numerous public polls, including in Western Sydney, are also in support of it, so you would appear to be out on a limb in trying to hold back the tide. Just accept that it’s going to happen.

    Now that the NSW Government led by a more enlightened Premier, is fully behind it, there’s no point in regurgitating all the old arguments against it.

  26. Ray says:

    An interesting thought on the extension of the South West Rail Link to the Badgerys Creek Airport site and ultimately to St Marys on the Western Line. This will be using “old technology”, in the Government’s parlance, in the form of double deck rolling stock integrated with the existing Sydney Trains network, unlike the new separate “hi-tech” Rapid Transit North West Rail Link. You have to ask the question, why should there be any difference when each system services an area of equivalent distance from the Sydney CBD? Gladys has been strangely quiet on this issue.

    Perhaps they might consider converting the SWRL from Glenfield and its extension to Badgerys Creek and beyond to Rapid Transit operation to ultimately connect with the NWRL. That would involve a “convenient” cross platform transfer at Glenfield (ala Chatswood on the NWRL) to complete a journey to the CBD via the “old technology” double deck trains. Am I missing something here?

  27. QPP says:

    Yes. It doesn’t form part of the proposed “Rapid Transit Network” as laid out in the “Sydney’s Rail Future” document.

    You would have a point, if the NWRL was intended to be a stand alone RTN that would never be extended/continued, and would forever terminate at Chatswood. Yes, obviously the future phases of the RTN are not funded or approved as yet, but they are being worked on in the pre-planning, development phase.

    NWRL as an RTN doesn’t make a lot of sense without the ultimate extension of the network, but that is precisely why NWRL is being “hamstrung” to ensure by some sort of backwards logic that the extensions do occur, or at least make them much more compelling for a future government. Otherwise the fear is that a future government just wouldn’t bother, just as occurred with the truncation of PERL at Epping. You don’t have to agree with TfNSW but you would struggle to argue that fear didn’t have some foundations.

    The idea that the NWRL RTN is a mere shuttle service to Chatswood is a furphy put out by the opponents of the RTN decision. From day one of that decision it has been about being the first phase in a new network tier, TfNSW have always been open about this, published it, publicised it and pushed it but people don’t want to hear it because it doesn’t suit their argument.

  28. Ray says:

    Forgive me QPP, but I was being a bit tongue in cheek, if not bordering on sarcasm, in my previous post. Still, it does raise serious questions about the future direction of the Sydney rail network.

  29. AK says:


    Spoken like a true person who never grew up there or lives anywhere near the outer western Sydney area. Your right in that I should probably lie down and accept that many of my friends who bought I areas like Glenmore Park will probably be forced to endure the brunt of the noise and suck it up for the east of the city.

    Old facts don’t mean that they are not true and I am entitled to speak my mind thank you. If these noise maps are the facts (a bit of digging will tell you that they are not – I was for the airport initially until I did some reading) then I would love the infrastructure building in the area just like the rest of the public who think that no one will be affected. The new premier doesn’t live near the place either. My objection is that to get airport support the people have been effectively lied to. I’m allowed to have that objection.

    Not an important point but not all the councils are in support of it. The councils that are will either not be affected (hills, Liverpool) or don’t want the alternative (Richmond). Blacktown, Penrith and Camden last I heard area against it or want more facts.

  30. Ray says:

    You’re a bit over the top AK. I lived directly under the Sydney Airport flight path at Drummoyne for 24 years and I learned to live with it, because I wanted to live in the area. When I eventually moved, it had nothing to do with aircraft noise.

    Aircraft noise impacts at Badgerys Creek won’t approach anything like that suffered by hundreds of thousands of people living in close proximity to Sydney Airport. The most severely affected area in the Inner West is booming, despite the noise impacts.

  31. BD says:

    I am one of the “few” which will be living directly under the flight path, most people living under the current flight paths now moved there knowing of the noise. I instead moved to Greendale due to isn’t peaceful environment and rural lifestyle.

    Before everyone goes onto the bandwagon of agreeing with this 2nd airport, I like people to think and as the questions, how exactly this Airport is going to operate? Cargo, Domestic or International or all of them.
    Also consider why was this 2nd airport not build earlier, because of many reasons like, cost of utilities, fog (past 3 days it was fogged up), environmental issues, water catchment and the list goes on… further planning of Sydney been a basin boarded by national parks..

    The next issue is cross runway, if one day the expansion requires a cross runway look whom is effected then….

    Why do we not investigate in a fast rail system, the East Cost is perfect for it and it works exceptional in Europe

    Last but not least, it would be nice if the few (which don’t seem to matter to anyone) would be consulted about how our live is going to be destroyed..

  32. Simon says:

    Get a grip! You’ve known this would probably happen for at least 20 years.

  33. AK says:


    Actually most young people in the area weren’t even aware of the possibility of an airport nearby at all. And a lot of people thought the airport ideas was dead. So no most locals didn’t really have a clue that an airport was a possibility. At least no one Ive talked to; actually was a big surprise that they still owned the land and it was on the table again to people who aren’t interested in transport and aviation news generally.

  34. Simon says:

    Two words: no sympathy.

  35. Citizen says:

    My goodness so many well informed people however not one person has recognised that this will be the fifth airport in the Sydney Basin, has anybody heard of Bankstown, Richmond and Camden airports. So why are we not discussing whether the future generations of young people from western Sydney will need the health risks associated with deteriorating air quality from not only the increased traffic but of course the delightful by product of burning jet fuel,benzine a highly carcinogenic substance even in small quantities. Do we realise that the planes will be taking off over Sydney’s main water supply, so how many ppm of benzine ingested through water consumption will cause cancer in the Sydney population. This is only a small insight on the many aspects that whilst considered have been ignored as the business lobby behind this push have billions of dollars to bury the truth. Why have known lobbyists been allowed to conduct the studies into whether there is need for a fifth airport in the Sydney Basin.
    Which brings me to another point Sydney is located in a basin the quality of air under prevailing weather conditions for the best part of the year ensure that the poor air produced a long way away from western Sydney is locked in by the mountains to our west if we draw on the health statistics for western Sydney it is not surprising the incident of respiratory diseases is significantly higher for the residents of western Sydney. Whilst the EIS points to only a small percentage increase in air pollution as a percentage of Sydney’s total the methodology and language around the issue is deceptive at best or we could call it for what it is purposefully misleading.
    Another significant issue kept fairly quiet is the fact that a fuel pipeline will be running through from Mascot to BC have all the residents been alerted to the risk such a pipe line could pose for the hundreds of thousands affected by this?
    Let’s talk travel times a trip from BC to Parramatta on a good day is 50 minutes and the upgrade of Elizabeth drive will not improve this as BC to the light horse interchange is only 15 to 20 minutes of the trip and most days you can travel at the speed limited, the disaster usually begins at the light horse interchange. The trip can take up to 2 hours if there has been a breakdown or accident which is a common occurrence no amount of road building will improve the situation the roads are oversubscribed before they are built. Many Residents of western Sydney are up and out of their homes from 5:30 am on any given day the traffic peak lasts from 6:00 am till 9:30-10:00 am and then there is the trip home.
    A fifth airport in the Sydney basin is going to be a disaster for the west and south west of Sydney no one mentions the opportunity cost of this airport, how many home sights will be destroyed where are future generations going to live in dog box apartments of 50 square meters? How many jobs won’t be had because of the restrictions around this dirty and unnecessary infrastructure. The capacity at Mascot, Bankstown, Richmond and Camden airports is more than adequate to meet the future aviation needs of greater Sydney so stop playing politics and give people in all our major cities what the need to improve their quality of life, stop dumping on those who do not have the voice to defend themselves appropriately, govern for the good of all not for the economic advantage of a few.

  36. GJ says:

    that must have been an old study. Greystanes is not the first suburb, it should read the new suburb of Pemulwuy with 2,500 residents

  37. Mary says:

    Let’s face it a 24 an hour airport needs to be built in Western Sydney because the poor residents living in the east and north of Sydney have ears and lungs, which obviously we do not

  38. @Mary – The reason Badgerys Creek can be a 24 hour airport is that planes taking off to the South West of Badgerys Creek will have a flight path over no residential areas. That is what makes it a potential 24 hour airport. All people have ears and lungs, so you can’t operate planes at night on flight paths over residential areas, and that rules out Kingsford-Smith.

  39. Mary says:

    Bambul I have every sympathy for anyone already being affected by plane noise are much lower in Western Sydney which will extend the noise problem caused by planes, residents will be affected, but even worse pollution will increase and more people especially children will get sick, cancer, asthma .There needs to be a new airport where planes can arrive and leave over the sea.

  40. Ak says:

    Anyone who knows about airports knows that flight paths are never in a straight line. In fact they almost wrap around the airport coming out in every direction from each end of the runway depending on wind direction. Flight paths are in every direction according to old EIS (Penrith, Blacktown, Camden and places in between). I assume those flight paths will generate noise no? Worse it will be at night. No point of a job if I cant sleep. Western Sydney is getting a very hard sell; the dumping ground of Sydney where people are convinced to welcome stuff no one else would go near. Any amount of research will tell you that people from the west fly less often than most Sydneysiders. Everyone tells them they should welcome it; of course as soon as you say “if you really think its great it should be near you” they fall silent and show what they really feel about that idea.

  41. Simon says:

    BC has been talked about for twenty years or so. Hard to feel sympathy for those people moving out there and then complaining about an airport moving in.

  42. @AK –

    Don’t take my word for it, take a look at the noise contour map in the blog post. Only 1 flight path, and only when it curves, comes close to residential areas. The remainder do not fly over residential areas. They fly over rural areas and farmland.

    Any homes affected (2,913) will either be given noise insulation or in the worst case (328) bought back and demolished. To put that into perspective, the same figures for Kingsford-Smith are 86,017 and 29,457.

    We are talking a level of impact that is 88.9%-96.6% lower than the existing one. Planes will fly over commercial and parkland until they reach places like Blacktown, at which point they will be as far away from Badgery’s Creek as Macquarie Park is away from Mascot.

    The fears over aircraft noise are not based on facts. So we can stop fearing it. This project will bring many benefits, but very few costs. We need to get behind it and make sure that benefit is maximised, not run around like chicken littles worrying that they sky will fall.

  43. Ak says:

    We will have to agree to disagree on that one. I’ve read the report where that map came from and many other airservives reports for Sydney Airport showing noise on and outside “official corridors” and also the extent of N60 maps – the ones that matter when you sleep. The facts tell me that the costs will be high and the benefits will accrue to those who consume air travel; on average 85% of people who fly in Sydney don’t live in Western Sydney according to the Joint Study for this airport. So its not scaremongering; just someone who has an interest and is willing to do some in depth checking and comparing and has come to an opinion based on what I’ve seen rather than taking the word of a blog post or worse the telegraph. I grew up near the area and know that a lot of it isn’t farmland anymore and I’ve also looked at flight path maps for Option A – your graph is not a flight path map. I hope for Western Sydney’s sake they do not take your suggestion to “get behind it” and compromise their interests but instead do their own research and find out for themselves.

  44. Mary says:

    Unfortunately Western Sydney residents are now so used to being dumped on by Ministers living in Eastern Sydney or the North Shore, that they have just about given up fighting anything, no one listens to us or our politicians anyway.

  45. Bejo says:

    Hey guys, for what it’s worth:

    * If we’re to build a second airport, it should do things the current airport can’t; for example be open 24 hours.

    * Let’s say the population numbers are broadly correct; then the existing airport affects a lot more residents than the proposed airport.

    * Residents in the areas to be rezoned industrial will, over time, move on as the rezoning takes force and land values rise accordingly.

    * It’s not helpful to frame this discussion as people of the east vs the west. It’s not a vs situation.

    * And yes, I know what airport noise is like; I live in the ANEF 20 contour, bought a house there a year ago. No handouts, we just insulated the roof, underfloor, replaced all the glass with 7.5 mm laminated glass and put DIY seals on the window frames to make sure they shut properly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s