Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Developing flight paths for Western Sydney Airport

Recent media articles have depicted flight path designs for the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is responsible for the development of the flight paths and wishes to clarify to the community that this work is still in development.

The media reports do not represent the work being undertaken by the department.

This work is being undertaken by a team of airspace design experts, working closely with Airservices Australia.

This detailed work to design the flight paths started in 2017 and will be finalised in 2024.

There are four phases to the flight path design—planning, preliminary design and environmental assessment, detailed design and implementation. The design is currently in the planning phase. This involves developing a set of technical system requirements, taking into account the views of current airspace users.

Before flight paths are finalised, the proposed design will be open for public consultation as part of the formal environmental assessment. This is expected to take place around 2021.

The Western Sydney Airport Plan includes a set of principles for the airspace design process. These principles include avoiding overflights of residential areas and noise sensitive facilities to the maximum extent possible.  These principles must be taken into account to develop flight paths based on maximising safety, technical efficiency and capacity, and minimising aircraft noise impacts on the community. The full set or airspace design principles are shown on page 47 of the Western Sydney Airport Plan.

More information on the airspace design process can be found on the Western Sydney Airport website.