Review of Sydney Airport Demand Management Scheme

Release of the Harris Review

The Review of the Sydney Airport Demand Management Scheme (the Harris Review) PDF: 858 KB, an independent review prepared by Mr Peter Harris AO, is now available to view.

The Harris Review was commissioned to determine if the Sydney Airport demand management objectives remain relevant and the scheme is fit-for-purpose, including through:

  • providing for the efficient use of airport infrastructure, while managing the impacts of noise to maintain livability for the Sydney community,
  • encouraging competition and resilience within the industry, and
  • facilitating recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as through being responsive to changes and opportunities in the market


The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) will now consult through technical working groups (comprised of representatives of the varied stakeholder groups) to refine details of the Harris Review recommendations and conduct more detailed analysis of the impacts ahead of implementation decisions being made by the Australian Government.

The department would like to thank those who provided submissions as part of the public consultation which informed the Harris Review. The submissions are now published in full below (unless it was indicated at the time of submission that a submission was to remain in confidence).

Composition of the technical working groups and implementation of any recommendations will include community, industry and Government agency consultation. Interested parties should continue to monitor this website for further updates. Any queries regarding the technical working groups or the Harris Review should be directed to:


Public submissions made to the Sydney Airport Demand Management Review are set out below, except for submissions that were submitted in-confidence. The department is not responsible for the content of these submissions, which remains the responsibility of the original authors, and submissions do not represent the views of the department. To the extent permitted by law, the Commonwealth disclaims liability to any person or organisation in respect of anything done, or omitted to be done, in reliance upon information contained in any of the submissions.

# Author Submission
1 Adelaide Airport Limited PDF: 496 KB
2 Airlines for Australia and New Zealand PDF: 260 KB
3 Airport Coordination Australia PDF: 1203 KB
4 Airport Coordination Limited * in confidence content redacted PDF: 660 KB
5 Airports Council International PDF: 211 KB
6 Australian Pacific Airports Corporation (Melbourne Airport) PDF: 162 KB
7 Australian Airports Association PDF: 238 KB
8 Australian Business Aviation Association PDF: 66 KB
9 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission PDF: 338 KB
10 Australian Mayoral Aviation Council PDF: 421 KB
11 Aviation Advisory PDF: 20 KB
12 Bathurst Regional Council PDF: 107 KB
13 Bega Valley Shire Council PDF: 2211 KB
14 Board of Airline Representative of Australia Inc PDF: 923 KB
15 Brisbane Airport Corporation PDF: 31 KB
16 Business Events Sydney PDF: 77 KB
17 Business Council of Australia PDF: 1013 KB
18 Canberra Airport Pty Ltd PDF: 427 KB
19 Committee for Sydney PDF: 350 KB
20 Country Women’s Association of NSW PDF: 104 KB
21 Dr Ernestine Gross PDF: 662 KB
22 Eurobodalla Shire Council PDF: 9 KB
23 Infrastructure Partnerships Australia PDF: 130 KB
24 Inner West Council PDF: 322 KB
25 International Air Transport Association PDF: 693 KB
26 John Clarke PDF: 162 KB
27 Moree Plains Shire Council PDF: 4963 KB
28 Narrabri Shire Council PDF: 221 KB
29 New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment PDF: 384 KB
30 Name withheld Confidential
31 No Aircraft Noise Party PDF: 458 KB
32 Qantas Group PDF: 383 KB
33 Regional Aviation Association of Australia PDF: 43 KB
34 Regional Express PDF: 1171 KB
35 Sydney Airport * in confidence content redacted PDF: 1009 KB
36 Sydney Airport Community Forum
(Mr Robert Hayes, Community Representative for the North)
PDF: 278 KB
37 Sydney Business Chamber PDF: 170 KB
38 Toll Group    Confidential
39 Tourism & Transport Forum PDF: 85 KB
40 Virgin Australia Group Confidential
41 Name withheld Confidential


The Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997 (the Act) and associated legislative instruments establish a framework for the long-term management of air traffic demand at Sydney Airport. The Act, along with the Sydney Airport Slot Management Scheme 2013, Sydney Airport Compliance Scheme 2012 and Sydney Airport Demand Management Regulations 1998 (together, the Legislation), establish a limit of 80 aircraft movements an hour, provide for a slot management scheme, and guarantee access for New South Wales regional services.

Demand management policies were designed to balance productivity with a range of social, competition and other competing objectives to:

  • maximise the number of flights within the movement cap
  • manage noise impacts on the local community
  • maximise passengers and freight
  • guarantee access to flights from regional areas
  • provide certainty of slots for incumbent airlines
  • encourage competition by making slots available for new entrants.

Following the Productivity Commission's 2019 Inquiry into the Economic Regulation of Airports, the Australian Government committed to conducting an independent review of Sydney Airport demand management. The review provides an opportunity to revisit existing policies and competing objectives, to ensure the regulatory framework remains fit-for-purpose to meet the needs of the aviation industry, travelers and the local community.

The review was led by Mr Peter Harris AO. It examined the Legislation and its implementation, including:

  • implementation of the movement cap,
  • slot management and;
  • regional access.

The Sydney Airport curfew, noise sharing arrangements and the number of aircraft movements per hour are outside the scope of this review.

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The Harris Review will inform the remaking of parts of the Legislation that are due to sunset on 1 April 2024. Sunsetting is an important mechanism for the Australian Government to implement policies to reduce red tape, deliver clearer laws, and align existing legislation with current government policy.

On 24 August 2018, the Attorney-General made a declaration to align the sunsetting date for a range of aviation-related legislative instruments—including legislative instruments relating to demand management at Sydney Airport. Unless this Legislation is reviewed and remade, it will cease to have effect.

The Sydney Airport Demand Management Discussion Paper

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications released the Sydney Airport Demand Management Discussion Paper (The Discussion Paper) PDF: 3689 KB as the first step of the Review in November 2020 to seek public comment and prompt discussion. The Discussion Paper outlined the scope of the review and raises a number of important focus questions that the Australian Government sought views on. The questions did not reflect Government policy—they were designed to elicit discussion.

Virtual consultations with stakeholders were held during November 2020 to capture stakeholder views on the questions and issues presented in the Discussion Paper.

Consultation on the Discussion Paper ensured the review considered current and emerging factors influencing Sydney Airport demand management.

Links to media releases and publications