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Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

PRECISION RUNWAY MONITOR TRIAL BEGINS

Media Release

11 July 2000

The trial of the precision runway monitor (PRM) for Sydney Airport is under way, with noise measurement for aircraft landing from the north under present instrument (ILS) procedures.

The PRM is a radar-based air traffic control aid for landing in bad weather.

It will be used for landings from the north the next time Sydney has southerly winds and poor visibility due to rain and cloud.

The trial is being conducted by Environment Australia (EA) with the assistance of acoustic and aviation consultants.

The PRM will only be used during morning and afternoon air traffic peaks on bad weather days, when it will require some changes to flight paths north of Pymble.

The PRM will be implemented progressively and is expected to be fully operational by August. The main period for noise measurement will be between August and November, which includes the Olympic period.

Noise monitoring under present ILS operations, which started last week, will resume in November after PRM operations are complete and continue until sufficient baseline measurements have been taken.

Noise monitors have been placed in Hunters Hill, West Pymble, Pymble and Cherrybrook, and will soon be placed in Hornsby and Dural. Records from permanent monitors near the airport will also be used for the trial. Noise exposure along and either side of the flight-paths will be calculated from the data recorded.

Airservices Australia's noise and flight path monitoring system (NFPMS) is being tested by Environment Australia's consultants to ensure that the information used in the trial is as accurate as possible. Recent claims that errors have occurred in plotting aircraft tracks are being examined.

The Government's decision on the future use of the PRM system will not be taken until the trial and the environmental assessment are complete. Reports on both to the Environment Minister will be made public.

Contact:
Frank Downing, telephone 02 6274 1846 or 0409 341 969