Stag­ger­ing op­tion

Avon Valley Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Sarah Brookes

WATTLE Grove res­i­dents are call­ing for Perth Air­port to stag­ger flights more ef­fi­ciently to re­duce the need for a third run­way.

Com­ment­ing on the Air­port’s draft man­age­ment plan cur­rently out for pub­lic com­ment, Wattle Grove res­i­dent Ten­z­ing David said the new run­way would sig­nif­i­cantly dis­rupt the com­mu­nity by di­rect­ing low- fly­ing air­craft traf­fic over­head.

“Res­i­dents and chil­dren in Wattle Grove and neigh­bour­ing sub­urbs are enti- tled to have an ac­tive out­door lifestyle, an un­in­ter­rupted sleep and wake up fresh for work the next day,” he said.

“There are long- term health risks for peo­ple liv­ing un­der the flight path, in­clud­ing re­search that con­stant ex­po­sure to high lev­els of noise can lead to hy­per­ten­sion, hear­ing im­pair­ment, heart prob­lems and sleep dis­tur­bance.

“Un­der the draft plan, noise lev­els in Wattle Grove are ex­pected to be be­tween 70 to 80 deci­bels, which is deaf­en­ing.”

A Perth Air­port spokes­woman said it would con­tinue to work with Airser­vices Aus­tralia, Com­mon­wealth, State and lo­cal gov­ern­ments and in­dus­try to ex­plore op­tions to man­age the ex­po­sure and po­ten­tial im­pact of air­craft noise on res­i­dents sur­round­ing Perth Air­port, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing sen­si­tive hours.

“Based on mod­el­ling, it is ex­pected that on a typ­i­cal week­day in 2025 Wattle Grove could ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween 18 and 143 de­par­tures in a 24- hour pe­riod, or an av­er­age of 71 flights,” the spokes­woman said.

“Mod­el­ling iden­ti­fies most of Wattle Grove could ex­pe­ri­ence 50 to 100 noise events at or above 65 deci­bels.”

Mr David said Perth Air­port needed to in­ves­ti­gate al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions.

“Noise man­age­ment strate­gies should be fur­ther re­viewed and en­hanced through ad­di­tional plan­ning process,” he said.

“Clearly Tues­days, Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days are the busiest pe­riod for the air­port be­cause of the re­source sec­tor’s FIFO work­force re­quire­ments, and the need to time in­ter- na­tional flights to con­nect to other ser­vices at hub air­ports. Perth Air­port ex­pe­ri­ences sig­nif­i­cant peak pe­ri­ods of de­par­tures and ar­rivals de­mand at cer­tain times of the day and night.

“Why doesn’t the Air­port ne­go­ti­ate with re­source com­pa­nies to stag­ger the work­force sched­ul­ing and de­ploy­ment re­quire­ment through­out the week, which will in­crease the op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of the run­way and mean a new run­way would not be re­quired for many decades?

“Al­ter­na­tively, why not con­sider an ex­clu­sive new run­way cater­ing for the re­sources in­dus­try at a fea­si­ble lo­ca­tion that won’t im­pact on res­i­dents liv­ing around the air­port?”

The spokes­woman for the Air­port said the in­tro­duc­tion of a peak pric­ing sys­tem in 2013 to man­age the num­ber of air­craft want­ing to op­er­ate in the morn­ing peak pe­ri­ods had lit­tle im­pact on air­line sched­ul­ing.

“Due to the na­ture of the re­source sec­tor’s FIFO work­force sched­ul­ing and de­ploy­ment re­quire­ments, and the need to time many in­ter­na­tional flights to con- nect to other ser­vices at hub air­ports, Perth Air­port ex­pe­ri­ences sig­nif­i­cant peak pe­ri­ods of de­par­tures and ar­rivals de­mand,” the spokes­woman said.

“Any change to air­line sched­ul­ing would not only im­pact the Perth mar­ket but also the wider air­line net­works and add ad­di­tional cost to pas­sen­gers across all seg­ments.”

Wattle Grove res­i­dent Raj Pan­dian said up to 100 planes over­head a day was far too many for a res­i­den­tial area.

“I call on the Air­port to in­ves­ti­gate build­ing an air­port for the re­sources sec­tor else­where to ease the load on Perth Air­port and then we won’t need a third run­way,” he said.

City of Kala­munda coun­cil­lor Brooke O’Don­nell has re­ceived more than 50 calls from res­i­dents con­cerned about air­craft noise from the third run­way.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant res­i­dents take the time to have their say while pub­lic sub­mis­sions are open be­cause once the new run­way comes on­line it will be here to stay,” she said.

She hoped Perth Air­port would take all con­cerns on board.

The re­quire­ment for the ad­di­tional run­way ca­pac­ity is trig­gered when an­nual air­craft move­ments reach 145,000 per year.

www. com­mu­ni­typix. com. au d485581 Pic­ture: David Baylis

Brooke O’Don­nell and Raj Pan­dian with other con­cerned Wattle Grove res­i­dents.

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