Labor wants to ban night flights over western Sydney suburbs as part of its Badgerys Creek airport plan if the party wins power, but the government says the idea has not been thought through.
Announcing the policy in the crucial federal election battleground on Thursday, Opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese said the plan would eliminate airport noise but still allow 24-hour access.
Flights between 11am and 6am would be forced to take off and land to the southwest of the airport over unpopulated areas.
“No single community should suffer from airport noise beyond what is necessary,” Mr Albanese told reporters on Thursday.
However the federal government has flagged concerns about Labor’s plans to restrict aircraft to specific flight paths or runways during high winds or rain.
Transport Minister Darren Chester said he’d received expert advice that forcing aircraft to land or take off with a tailwind up to the recommended limit was irresponsible.
“Locking in one runway option only for night operations at Western Sydney Airport is reckless in terms of safety and the economic benefits for Sydney and Australia,” he said in a statement to AAP.
“Labor put the Western Sydney Airport in the too hard basket for six years and is now making it up as it goes along.”
But Mr Albanese said advances in technology had made it possible for planes to land into the wind.
He said flight restrictions similar to what Labor proposed were in place at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport and could easily be incorporated at Badgerys Creek.
Daylight air traffic noise would also be dispersed under Labor’s plan.
“So, no noise at night but significantly as well, a commitment to ensure that there’s no concentration of aircraft noise during the day, either.”
Mr Albanese said the proposed night flight paths had factored in urban sprawl, with the population expected to boom along the growth corridor.