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ACCC wants Sydney Airport curfew reviewed

The competition watchdog is calling for a review of Sydney Airport’s curfew and other flight restrictions saying they’re likely contributing to congestion chaos at the country’s largest aviation hub.

In a submission to the Productivity Commission, the ACCC says the airport’s 11pm to 6am curfew and hourly flight caps should be regularly reviewed to ensure they remain appropriate and reflect technological advances to reduce aircraft noise.

At present, the number of runway movements is capped at 80 per hour, which can prevent airlines playing catch-up if a plane is delayed.

It’s long been a source of frustration for tourism and airport stakeholders.

“It’s a balancing exercise of people whose houses are near the airport on the one hand and the travelling public,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims told ABC radio on Wednesday.

“So we’re just saying things change, aircraft don’t make as much noise, and so this is something that should be regularly reviewed rather than feeling it’s a set and forget policy.”

The submission has been criticised by residents group No Aircraft Noise.

“The people of Sydney affected by the noise deserve to have a decent night’s sleep and that (curfew) was set in legislation for a very good reason,” secretary Patricia Thorne told AAP on Wednesday.

“I know they talk about the flights being less noisy but you’re talking about very loud noises … it’s a very small change to a very loud noise.”

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