Second Syd airport: new guidelines to address pollution concerns

29 January, 2015

A set of guidelines for the environmental impact assessment of a second Sydney airport will address any new noise and air pollution concerns, the federal government has said in a recent statement.

The guidelines, released on Thursday (29 January), were a "crucial component" of the planning process for the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said.

A previous draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in the late 1990s was out of date, according to Truss.

"We're re-doing the work, taking into account the fact that aircraft now are bigger but much quieter," he said.

"All those sorts of factors will need to be taken into account in ensuring that the EIS is current and deals with the key issues."

Truss said the revised EIS will assess an airport's impact on noise and air quality.

"(This will include) the impact of flight paths and flight frequency on the local area," he said.

A federal issue

Truss asserted the study needed to be handled by the Commonwealth rather than the NSW government.

"The airport is a Commonwealth responsibility, so therefore our environmental legislation is what we must primarily deal with," he said.

"The Australian government has employed a team of experienced contractors … to undertake the environmental assessment.

"An airport for Western Sydney would be a catalyst for job and economic growth in the region and the Australian government is committed to ensuring the public remains involved in the project."

Public consultation will begin in May, and it is anticipated construction will commence sometime in 2016.