It’s been an issue that has plagued Sydney for decades.

Being a major city with it’s main airport located right in the heart of the CBD has caused headaches for travelers as well as those who live under the flight path.

Currently their is a strict curfew in place preventing planes from landing or leaving between 11pm and 6am.

However, a new report on the economic regulation of Australian airports by the Productivity Commission, says the curfew is “unnecessarily restrictive” and actually contributes to delays.

“The movement cap and curfew sometimes result in more noise and emissions, in spite of their noise reduction objective,” the report said.

“The objective of managing the effect of aircraft noise on local residents should be balanced with reforms that benefit the community at large, including through improvements to the efficiency of Sydney Airport.”

It also highlighted that the movement cap, which is measured every 15 minutes, and the curfew “exacerbated delays” at times of unexpected incidents, like bad weather.


“Delays that lead to congestion, particularly during peak periods, can force some aircraft to wait on the ground or in the air until the next 15-minute rolling hour before they are allowed to take off or land in order to avoid breaching the movement cap,” 

“Aircraft movements can be prohibited entirely when delays stretch toward the curfew period.”

“Delays interfere with passengers’ schedules, create costs for airlines and have flow-on effects for Australia’s aviation network more broadly due to the high number of aircraft that pass through Sydney Airport.”

However, people living under the airport’s flight paths say getting rid of the curfew would mean more noise while most were trying to sleep.

“The big thing for me would be to find a way to minimise the noise, and the best way to do that is to utilise the bay (Botany Bay) for takeoffs and landings,” Ray, who lives in Tempe, next to the airport, told

“As long as those planes land from the bay between 11pm and 6am, that would reduce the noise, and usually any plane that’s circling is high enough to not be heard. I can see them circling from my backyard.” 

WSFM 101.7 Sydney