CITY of Canning suburbs could be “noise bombed” by aircraft if Perth Airport’s cross-runway is removed, according to Councillor Jesse Jacobs.
Cr Jacobs is the City’s representative on the Perth Airports Municipalities Group (PAMG) that meets every three months to discuss the effect of the upcoming expansion of the airport on local government areas.
He said that at a recent PAMG meeting, members were informed that Perth Airport’s proposal had changed from a third runway to a parallel runway, with plans to remove the existing cross-runway.
Cr Jacobs said the cross-runway currently funnelled aircraft traffic over Belmont, Victoria Park and South Perth on the south-western aircraft runway approach and over Swan View and Greenmount on the northeastern approach.
He said if the cross-runway was removed, there would be two north-south runways, with resulting limitations placed on aircraft noise sharing between the suburbs.
“The plan pre-2017 called for three runways that could potentially be able to share sound,” he said. “Recently this year, it has changed to wanting just two runways pointing in Canning’s direction.”
Cr Jacobs said suburbs including Cannington, East Cannington, Welshpool, Queens Park, Ferndale and Lynwood would experience more noise if the cross-runway was removed and sound sharing was not implemented.
“It means we will take the brunt of all aircraft movement noise in and out of Perth International Airport,” he said. “The worst- case scenario is for the next 50 to 100 years these suburbs are continually noise bombed.”
Next month, Cr Jacobs will ask fellow councillors to agree to engage an independent association to provide options for the City to reduce the airport’s noise effect on suburbs in the municipality.
“Residents say airport noise is an issue now,” he said. “It is going to double up at least if we don’t do anything.”
He said keeping the cross-runway would also lay the physical elements necessary for a meaningful sound-sharing arrangement, such as the one in place at Sydney Airport.
“An ostrich-like approach to this problem will not only guarantee an unfavourable outcome for Canning but also one that risks invoking the wrath of our residents for years to come if we are seen to do nothing for them,” Cr Jacobs said. “The final design for Perth Airport will have long-term implications that Council and the Canning community are not currently grasping.”
A Perth Airport spokeswoman said the 2014 airport master plan identified the delivery of a new runway that would run parallel to the existing main runway.
In September 2015, the airport board approved a $45 million investment in pre-construction activities that included investigations into the future viability of the cross-runway.