Badgerys 'makes A Lemon' Of Third Runway

Sydney Morning Herald

Thursday December 12, 1991


The decision by the Federal Government to build a major general aviation airport at Badgerys Creek means the construction of a third runway at Kingsford-Smith Airport is unnecessary, according to local lobby groups.

The Second Sydney Airport Coalition (SSAC) and Residents Opposed to Runway Three (RORT) claim development of a third runway would be a billion-dollar waste.

The Federal Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support, Senator Collins, said on Tuesday that preliminary design work indicated that an airport at Badgerys Creek might be operational by 1994.

"This represents the first stage in developing Badgerys Creek as Sydney's second airport," Senator Collins said.

The Government decided to provide additional funding to permit the construction of an 1,800-metre runway, rather than the 1,200-metre runway proposed in the conceptual design study. The longer runway will cater for aircraft up to smaller jets like the BAe 146.

A spokeswoman for the SSAC, Ms Jane Weder, said: "A major general aviation airport at Badgerys Creek, with staged development of a domestic/international facility, combined with better management of Kingsford-Smith Airport, makes the proposed third runway an economic and environmental lemon."

Mr Peter Baldwin, the Federal MP for Sydney and an outspoken proponent for an airport at Badgerys Creek, said increased capacity at Badgerys Creek would provide curfew-free operations.

Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Corporation has decided to proceed with the construction of a third runway at Kingsford-Smith Airport even though a coalition of local councils has begun court action to have the runway stopped

A spokesman for the FAC said this week that the FAC board had considered the situation last weekend and that the runway had been "given the tick".

"The plans are now ready for tenders for construction to be called by Christmas," the spokesman said.

The FAC also confirmed that it was examining Schofields aerodrome, near Blacktown, as a possible new general aviation airport.

* The 10 local councils opposed to the third runway will be back in the Federal Court next Thursday in what is deemed to be their last chance to stop the FAC and the Federal Government proceeding with the third runway.

Residents protesting against the runway took their fight to the ALP State conference at Sydney Town Hall last weekend. RORT staged a "noise demonstration" to highlight the noise effects of an expanded airport.

Using speakers mounted on the back of a truck, aircraft noise was played at the volume which would confront residents who live close to the airport.

RORT also indicated that residents would be seeking almost $1 billion in compensation for insulation costs to reduce the effects of aircraft noise and vibration in their homes, and in schools and hospitals in the area.

The State Government's "failure" to commission a report into the impact of its schools under its flight path has been criticised by the Labor MP for Port Jackson, Ms Sandra Nori.

She said modifications to reduce noise impacts on schools would cost"millions of dollars" and called on the Government to make a "comprehensive investigation" then present the Federal Government with the bill.

© 1991 Sydney Morning Herald

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