Federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese has poured cold water on suggestions by airlines that the curfew at Sydney Airport be relaxed for weather-related operational reasons, or even be lifted latogether to allow more passenger and freight to land in Sydney.
When asked by a journalist at the National Press Club yesterday: "Does the Minister think there’s any merit in changing the existing curfews in place at Sydney Airport?", the minister replied with a categorical "no".
"No. The current curfew gets the balance right," Mr Albanese said.
"There is a balance to be had between the commercial operations of an airport, and the fact that airports and other pieces of economic infrastructure exist, exist in communities.
"Sydney Airport happens to exist in a community that’s the most densely populated area of Australia – not just Sydney.
"So getting that balance right is also might I say in the interests of Sydney Airport, and of airlines.
"There are some who argue that Sydney Airport is something that is not necessary – it should be moved or closed. I support Sydney Airport as a critical piece of economic infrastructure for the nation.
"But I also say that the owners of the airport need to bear in mind the need to maintain public support by being good neighbours. The curfew is about good neighbourly relations between the airport and the people who live around it, and on my watch it will stay."