Sydney Airport has received Federal Government approval to temporarily park grounded aircraft on its east-west runway during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the announcement builds on more than $1 billion of support already committed to the aviation industry.

“I want our aviation industry to come out the other side of this pandemic in the best position possible and that’s why we continue to take important steps to support the sector,” Mr McCormack said.

“This measure is a safe and practical response to the significant demand for aircraft parking from domestic and international airlines.

“This doubles the number of aircraft that can be parked at Sydney Airport, with the east-west runway able to accommodate up to 50 aircraft.

“The continued movement of essential workers, medical supplies and agricultural exports are uninterrupted with the Airport’s primary north-south parallel runways remaining operational.”

The east-west runway accounts for fewer than one in ten aircraft movements at the Airport and is primarily used during weather disruptions and under noise-sharing arrangements. With the significant reduction in aircraft movements, all areas close to the Airport and under flight paths are experiencing historically low levels of aircraft noise.

The announcement of this temporary measure follows consultation with Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ensure all relevant safety and regulatory requirements are met, as well as community stakeholders.

Sydney Airport is monitoring the situation closely and is aiming to return the east-west runway to normal operations as soon as all aircraft can be accommodated on normal parking bays.

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