Both the ABC and WIN News Canberra ran stories on the approval of the Canberra Airport masterplan in their Friday 28 August, 2009 news bulletins:
ABC News: “Freight Hub”
WIN News: “Plan Approved”
Canberra Times: “24-hour airport freight hub approved”
Canberra Airport will be transformed into a 24-hour freight hub after approval of its 2009 master plan.
Despite repeated protests from local residents, federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese approved the master plan, which outlines how the airport will grow and allows for more night-time flights.
In the next 20 years, overnight freight flights are expected to reach 25 a night under the plan.
The approval comes months after Mr Albanese rejected the initial plan for its lack of detail.
In a bid to calm local residents’ fears, Airservices Australia will conduct a review of aircraft noise and assess the impact on affected properties.
Mr Albanese said the number of jobs at Canberra Airport would increase from 8000 to 25,000 over 20 years as the airport grew.
”The 2009 master plan is a significant improvement over the plan I rejected last year,” he said.
”At present, Canberra Airport already has night-time freight services, and the proposed increase in freight services is expected to deliver greater economic benefits for the Canberra region.”
Local residents have accused airport management of trying to establish it as a second airport for Sydney, but Mr Albanese said this decision would be taken separately.
Airport spokesman Andrew Leece confirmed this the number of night-time flights would increase.
He said the airport was ”very, very happy” with the approval as it cleared the way for negotiations with freight operators to begin, and Canberra’s airport was well placed to serve Sydney, which was approaching capacity.
”There is no doubt there will be some night freight. People want things the next day, so for better or worse flights happen overnight,” he said. ”Within the first few years, we would be hoping to get one to three jet flights per day coming in, in addition to or in place of the already existing turbo-prop flights.”
Mr Leece dismissed fears about noise over north Canberra, saying the airport remained committed to noise abatement and listening to the local community.
But Curfew 4 Canberra spokeswoman Jenni Savigny did not agree, describing the approval as ”outrageous”.
”They are using Canberra as a noise dump for Sydney, which doesn’t get this noise. Surely we deserve the same protection? This is incredibly unfair,” she said. ”This is a massive change of usage.”
Note: copyright of the material in the video clips resides with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, WIN Television and Fairfax Media. Usage permitted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Section 42: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news. Source: ABC News (Canberra) & WIN News (Canberra) – 28 August 2009, The Canberra Times – 29 August 2009