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Opinion – Albanese continues to defy airport and economic logic

written by WOFA | August 20, 2013

Too much noise for the minister, even though pre-curfew arrivals aren't permitted to overfly Albanese's electorate. (Seth Jaworski)

Although he may have committed to doing something about a second airport for Sydney re-elected, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese continues to stifle both airport capacity and economic stimulus, recently removing three vital early-morning slots from Qantas.

The slots, which had been granted for flights arriving between 0500 and 0600, were pivotal to Qantas’s renewed push in to Asia. Under the Curfew Act, 24 flights are had been approved to arrive before the curfew officially lifts at 0600, those flights being subject to tight noise-limiting operational constraint including not being permitted to overfly Albanese’s electorate in inner-Sydney.

However, as reported in The Daily Telegraph, Albanese’s office evidently rejected a recent request from Qantas to retain the thrice-weekly flights from Singapore, thus reducing the current approvals from 24 to 21.

Each daily international flight generates some $388 million in economic benefit and supports 5,000 jobs, the Telegraph reported.

So it seems unfathomable that Albanese has continued to wind back the pre-curfew approvals even further following the recent disapproval of the Qantas Singapore flights. Indeed under the Act, up to 35 flights are permitted, though the airport has never operated at that level despite the legislated ability to do so.

As a result, Sydney Airport Corporation says only 60 per cent of available capacity can be realised.




  • Francesco Mastrangelo


    It’s sad to see how damaging can incompetency be for civil aviation.
    Politicians have very little to do and very poor knowledge of the industry itself, and as a result of such ignorance usually the people that work and live for such industry pay the painful consequences.
    There should be much more freedom for Airlines to operate, boost their business and the economy and that would bring also more competition between old airlines and new coming airlines at the benefit also of customers.

    We need more flights in and out of Australia, with more airlines, to offer more choices for tourists and domestic travelers.
    Regional airlines also need real sustainable support from the government so that people can discover places of the country otherwise untouched.
    Regional flying is still so expensive and people sometimes rather go somewhere else overseas on overseas carriers.

    We need representative of the industry to actually have crucial powers in law making, we cannot afford to let these incompetent politicians ruin such an important industry.

  • Raymond


    Let’s get rid of this incompetent rabble pacifying the junior fringe-policy member of their informal alliance they depend on to prop up their vote… less than 3 weeks to go!

  • Saz


    Politicians only look after themselves – if Albanese was the elected member of a seat nowhere near the airport, what would his decisions be? I agree with Francesco’s comments totally. I live right under the flight path of Rwy 25 and love the aircraft noise – and anyone who moves near the airport and complains about the noise is kidding themselves. But the economic benefit the city is losing is staggering – you would think that cost would outweigh the current restrictions. I have always maintaned the most ridiculous part of the curfew is not allowing arrivals and departures when the airport has been closed during the day due to weather – Sydney is a laughing stock, no wonder Melbourne keeps adding new operaters on a regular basis.

  • Ben


    Sheer stupidity that he effectively removed these flights from the shoulder slots. They’ve had them for years. Any new shoulder slot should be limited to stage 4 aircraft sure, but an existing slot should be retained until they no longer operate that particular flight. Personally I’d also have it that once an existing slot was ‘converted’ to be operated by a stage 4 aircraft then it may no longer be operated by a non-stage 4 aircraft. Thus eventually all the slots are going to be limited to stage 4 aircraft.

    If they opened it up like this then at least you’d get the A380’s in before the ‘floodgates open’ at 0600! It also offers opportunities to operators of stage 4 aircraft to bring forward flights that are battling for post 0600 slots already, which in turn frees these up for others. It may also prompt some operators to consider newer, quieter aircraft to access these earlier slots. More slots, quieter aircraft, everybody wins… at least in my logical mind!

  • Ron


    The Minister’s electorate right underneath the flightpath certainly poses questions as to whether there is a conflict of interest, which we have all long known. However anything you’re reading in the Daily Telegraph is going to be politically motivated against the current Labour Government. I’m not saying they’re wrong, I just don’t want to see AA be a proxy for the Murdoch press. We have Channel 7 for that.

  • craig


    Do these shoulder slots come in over the city or over botany bay? If they come in over the bay then I don’t see the problem with new modern aircraft taking these spots.

  • Pablo


    I love how immediately biased and short sighted people can be when they are after an outcome that is favourable to themselves, yes that means politcians and THE PUBLIC.
    If people would get off there own arse and visit the MPs directly, get petitions, forward them letters and explain the industry to them instead of publicly bashing the current politicians about this topic then ignorance would hopefully give way to understanding and action.
    After all, if you think the Liberals were so fantastic in all their self proclaimed glory about economic this and that, then they would have built one when Howard was king. Maybe they could have used the proceeds of the GST, ooops, that was never coming in, justlike this airport will never come in with magical abbott.

  • Keith


    Unbelievable but typical.

  • Dee


    Now Rudd has joined his partner in crime by stating that BNE should also have less flights, and increase the curfew hours. Oh! he lives close to one of the flightpaths, so no doubt the odd constituent has whispered in his ear about the appalling noise, vibrations of windows, death of all plant life from Jet A-1 fumes etc., that accompanies each flight.
    Whilst our Politicians worry about votes more than the economy, we will face a lose, lose situation as shown over the past 3 decades.

  • Barry


    One wonders just how “lateral thinking” simply evades some of our present (in power) politicians. Hopefully after 7th September we might get some sanity back in to decisions that affect our national carriers and to the overall Australian economy.

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