Swan Residents protest Perth Airport’s third runway plans

Peter Whitehurst of Swan View and his neighbour have put together a submission to amend the proposed flight corridor recently issued by Perth Airport. Photo: David Baylis
Peter Whitehurst of Swan View and his neighbour have put together a submission to amend the proposed flight corridor recently issued by Perth Airport. Photo: David Baylis

SWAN View resident Peter Whitehurst says homeowners will be exposed to unacceptable levels of aircraft noise if Perth Airport proceeds with proposed flight corridors for its new runway.

Mr Whitehurst said under the plan, all jet aircraft would take off from the new runway exposing Bellevue, Greenmount, Swan View and the Hills to more noise.

Mr Whitehurst said aircraft departures heading north should be based on Perth Airport’s 2009 Masterplan to lessen the impact on urban residents.

“The plan released for comment indicates the majority of all northern air traffic takeoffs will be directed over Bellevue, Koongamia, Greenmount and Swan View and a small number of turbo prop aircraft over the suburbs of Bushmead, Helena Valley, Boya and Darlington,” he said.

Peter Whitehurst. Photo: David Baylis

“This is contradictory to Perth Airport’s Masterplan 2009 where the flight tracks for the new runway is clearly indicated as aircraft taking off and climbing over Hazelmere and Midland, and then turning east over the rural areas of Middle Swan and Red Hill.”

A Perth Airport spokeswoman said the new runway’s draft airspace management plan was based on the 2014 Masterplan.

“The plan considers current operating procedures and international safety standards as well as efficiency, equitable use of airspace and environmental factors,” she said.

“We will be considering all public submissions which will be presented to the Federal Government as part of the approvals process.”

Wattle Grove residents called for Perth Airport to stagger flights more efficiently to reduce the need for a third runway.

Tenzing David said alternatives should be investigated with modelling showing on a typical weekday in 2025, Wattle Grove could experience up to 143 departures in a 24-hour period.

“There are long-term health risks for people living under the flight path including research that constant exposure to high levels of noise can lead to hypertension, hearing impairment, heart problems and sleep disturbance,” he said.

“Under the draft plan noise levels in Wattle Grove are expected to be between 70 to 80 decibels which is deafening.

“Why doesn’t the Airport negotiate with resource companies to stagger the workforce scheduling and deployment requirements throughout the week, which will increase the operational efficiency of the runway and mean a new runway would not be required for many decades?

“Alternatively why not consider an exclusive new runway catering for the resources industry at a feasible location that won’t impact on residents living around the Airport?”

The Perth Airport spokeswoman said the introduction of a peak pricing system in 2013 to manage the number of aircraft wanting to operate in the morning peak periods had little impact on airline scheduling.

The new runway is due to become operational between 2023 and 2028 when annual aircraft movements reach 145,000.