Proposed flight plans for the new Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek fly over protected parts of the Blue Mountains.
‘Ahhh, how’s the serenity?’
It’s the age-old quote from The Castle that I’m sure you’re guilty of dropping and it’s a safe bet that it’s been used out in the Blue Mountains a few times too.
Like the movie, it’s also looking like planes could be bringing a whole ‘lotta noise-pollution straight over the heart of the Blue Mountains, courtesy of the new Western Sydney Airport.
With over 80 articles on the Blue Mountains you could say we’re quite fond of the place, and as We Are Explorers founder Henry puts it, ‘with scenery more dramatic than a Kardashian family dinner and as rugged as Chuck Norris’s jawline, the Blue Mountains National Park is an incredible sight to behold.’
But 8km down the road at Badgerys Creek, construction is underway on a 24/7 airport.
What’s this new airport?
Out in Western Sydney a brand new international airport’s gonna have planes flying at all hours. It’s expected to open in 2026 and within 10 years there’s going to be a plane flying over nearly every 7 minutes – with even more fanging about in the future.
Where are the flight paths?
The government’s been constructing the airport for over a year and – while spending taxpayer money – they haven’t finalised any of the flight paths, leaving it unknown who’s going to be affected.
They sort of did in 2016, but then claimed they were just ‘indicative.’ Indicative of charging straight over The Blue Mountains National Park, and a heap of other Western Sydney suburbs.
Airport CEO Graham Millet, said the proposed flight paths won’t be announced until 2021 or 2022. The crew at Flight Paths Now are having none of that and have created a petition which to put it simply, is telling Prime Minister ScoMo to ‘stop all works on the site until the flight paths have been announced, assessed and approved.’
So, what’s it all mean for the Bluies?
Well, it’s all still up in the air (sorry), but those indicative paths I mentioned were from the airport’s initial Environmental Impact Statement which showed 100% of the flights crossing over the Blue Mountains.
People froth getting out of the hustle and bustle of Sydney to visit the UNESCO World Heritage area and all the beauty that surrounds the region. Whether you’re hiking the six foot track, checking out Wentworth Falls, or learning to climb, it’s going to be hard to deep-dive into nature with planes constantly buzzing overhead.
Flight Paths Now even reference the Australian Academy of Science in the petition as they worry about the noise pollution it will bring. Many animals often relocate to avoid man-made noise, which can affect entire ecosystems. A worry for the million hectares of national park and wilderness in the Blue Mountains.
Are the Blue Mountains in for a Castle-like David and Goliath battle?
Possibly. In the meantime, the airport is under construction, the Mayor of the Blue Mountains Council is one of many demanding answers and groups like Flight Paths Now are petitioning for the flight paths to be announced so they know what’s going to be affected before the airport is almost finished and it’s too late.
Read more about the issue, how it affects other Sydney suburbs and sign the petition.
Feature photo by Tim Ashelford
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