Sydney Airport’s new demand management review

Mr Peter Harris AO has prepared an independent review of Sydney Airport Demand Management, featuring 17 recommendations to improve efficiency.

Sydney Airport is Australia’s busiest airport, operating under a unique framework introduced over two decades ago, largely aimed at addressing community concerns about aircraft noise and managing capacity of the airport.

The Review has considered existing policies and competing objectives to ensure the regulatory framework remains fit for purpose to meet the needs of the aviation industry, the travelling public and the local community, whilst also considering the impact of COVID-19. 

The Sydney Airport curfew, noise sharing arrangements and the number of aircraft movements per hour were outside the scope of the Review. 

The Federal Government remains committed to these arrangements that protect the Sydney community from the impacts of aircraft noise.

Mr Harris has found that the Federal Government should continue to regulate demand management at Sydney Airport and that some reforms would be needed.

Mr Harris made 17 recommendations seeking to improve efficiency and meet the full suite of demand management objectives applied to Sydney Airport, including the Government’s ongoing commitment to managing noise impacts on the residents of Sydney and retaining access for NSW regional communities.

Mr Harris consulted widely and his findings take into account the important messages he heard during those consultations and in the 41 submissions received.

Sydney domestic and international airlines, and the broader aviation sector will all have an interest in the proposed reforms, with the government working with each of these groups to ensure any reforms meet the needs of all parties.

When considering which recommendations to accept, staged implementation will also be considered, to prioritise any measures beneficial to airline competition and the recovery of the aviation industry  which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Government is providing its response to the Harris Review following its consideration of the full suite of reforms and engagement with stakeholders.

Access the review here. 

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