Summary of Key Features
- Sydney Airport has a curfew in place that applies to aircraft operations between 11.00 pm and 6.00 am (local time). A limited number of aircraft types are allowed to operate during the curfew, including emergency service aircraft and any aircraft that needs to land for safety reasons.
- The rules for the curfew at Sydney Airport are laid down in the:
- Aircraft, other than those to which an exception applies, cannot take-off from or land at Sydney Airport, unless the aircraft is involved in an emergency.
- An aircraft should not depart from its origin port unless the estimated time of arrival will be before 11.00 pm Sydney local time. Where the estimated time of arrival will be at or after 11.00 pm, a dispensation should be sought before departure.
- An aircraft that arrives at Sydney Airport before 6.00 am must hold until after the curfew ends, or divert to an alternative airport.
- During the curfew, aircraft must operate over Botany Bay, that is take-offs to the south and landings to the north.
- On Saturdays and Sundays, aircraft must also operate over Botany Bay in the hour before and after the curfew, provided the weather and traffic conditions allow this to take place safely.
- Aircraft are not permitted to take-off over the suburbs after 10.45pm.
Exceptions to the curfew
The following aircraft are permitted to operate during the curfew:
- Propeller-driven aircraft which have a noise certificate, comply with noise standards specified in the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995 (the Act) and have a maximum take-off weight of up to 34,000kg.
- Jet aircraft which have a noise certificate, comply with noise standards specified in the Act, have a maximum take-off weight of up to 34,000kg and are specified in the Sydney Airport Curfew (Curfew Aircraft) Instrument 2015.
- Any aircraft that received taxi clearance from Air Traffic Control (ATC) before the curfew period starts.
- An aircraft involved in an emergency, or interrupted by an emergency. An emergency includes aircraft being used for or in connection with search and rescue, a medical emergency or natural disaster, security or safety incident, insufficient fuel or in-flight emergency.
- An aircraft operating under a dispensation granted by the Minister or the department in exceptional circumstances.
- Section 13 of the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995 permits for freight movements to occur each week utilising Bae-146 aircraft.
- The Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995 provides that once Western Sydney Airport is able to be used for night aircraft movements, the exceptions relating to freight, propeller and small jet aircraft will cease to apply at Sydney Airport.
International passenger aircraft movements
- Subject to approval, certain international passenger aircraft are permitted to operate during the curfew shoulder period.
- The 'curfew shoulder period' means the periods between 11:00 pm–12:00 am and 5:00 am–6:00 am each day.
- The Sydney Airport Curfew Regulations 1995 prescribe the maximum number of landings and take-offs by international passenger aircraft during the curfew shoulder period:
- 24 landings per week between 5:00 am–6:00 am (with no more than 5 landings occurring per day); and
- 0 take-offs per week between 11:00 pm–12:00 am.
- A breach of the curfew by a body corporate could result in fines of over $1.1 million. See Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995.