revised May 2002
AIR TRANSPORT, SYDNEY.
Aircraft are the latest and greatest symbol of the
page 37 of the Transportation (October 1997) issue of "SCIENTIFIC
is a graph
of projected per capita traffic volume. The graph is
of an article by A.Schafer & D. Victor on "Global Mobility" and
that high speed transport will account for 41% of passenger miles in
25% in 2020, up from 3% in 1960 & 9% in 1990. High speed
is aircraft or very fast train.
In Sydney Australia there are complaints about
noise. Sydney airport is about five kilometers South of the city
center, and aircraft movements are inevitably over densely populated
The federal government (which controls airports) has been rescheduling
flight corridors in a vain attempt to reduce complaints. The
growing "No Airports" movement fails to see the necessity of airports
the Sydney Basin. The inhabitants of Badgery's Creek in Western
(where the government proposed to open a second airport) do not want an
airport either. Some of the people at the mining town of Lithgow
(about 100 kilometers west of Sydney, pop. about 30,000) have indicated
that they would welcome the noise & business that an airport would
The intent of the Federal government to privatize
airport is cause for alarm, insofar as privatization will make it that
much harder and more expensive to relocate as that becomes necessary.
Below are catalogued the disadvantages of airports
cities, and reasons for concentrating airports in remote locations.
FACTS ABOUT AIRPLANES.
- Airplane (travel)
disease. The first defense
against the expected pandemics of the third millennium should be
on rapid international travel. Placing international airports in
remote areas would simplify any human quarantine procedures found
Animal quarantine procedures could also be simplified.
- Aircraft are beginning to regularly fly into
airports. The probability of a serious incident can only increase
as time passes. It does not seem like a good idea to have densely
areas near airports.
- The events of September 11th have added a new
the problem presented by airports. Now the only method of
dedicated terrorists from causing a fully fueled airplane to crash into
a densely populated city is to not allow such aircraft near cities, by
relocating all airports away from cities and placing a total ban all
vehicles within 10 kilometers of any dense urban area.
were only five terrorists per aircraft on September 11th. Given
unarmed combat specialists aboard a flight departing Kingsford-Smith
it would be impossible to prevent them from carking Parliament
Alternatively, a Stinger or SAM 7 man portable air defence missile
be used to bring down a fully laden civil aircraft just after takeoff
densely populated regions of a city.
- Airports are unwelcome additions in any
are noisy and smelly. They are an undoubted health hazard.
An Australian federal government that promised to move all commercial
out of the Sydney basin might well earn itself an extra handful of
in the Representatives & an extra seat in the Senate.
people might well feel the same way.
- International tourism would be only marginally
airports were relocated to remote areas. One international
for South-eastern Australia near Parkes or Forbes NSW should
Forbes is probably near the centroid for population & distance for
Sydney, Melbourne Brisbane and Adelaide, and is sparsely settled and
flat. Very fast (400 KPH) trains could travel across open plains
to deliver passengers within two or three hours to the major cities.
tourists could start their holiday in "outback" Australia.
- Airplanes produce massive pollution and consume
amounts of energy. Below I have used various sources to show that
airplanes consume about half as much energy as is used to provide the
electricity budget for Australia.
- An RB211
engine (similar to a 747 engine) produces about 30 megawatts.(1 HP =
- Per capita Australian consumption of
kWh p/a (for 1996) which is (divide by 365.25 & then divide by 24)
about 1015 watts per person averaged continuously.
- Maximum electricity generating capacity in
- Sydney has a population of about 3,750,000
and Australia has about 18,500,000.(1997)
- According to the Australian
Bureau of Statistics on domestic airlines aircraft movements in
there are more than 500,000 aircraft movements and more than 450,000
are flown per annum.
- There are about 80,000 international
aircraft movements each year. Since any overseas flight is 2
hours, and most are 6 hours, this counts as about 200,000* aircraft
per annum in mostly big (4 engines) aircraft.
*i.e. half of 5 hrs*80,000 flights
May 2002. The following
were obtained from the Australian Government document "Urban Air
In Australia" 1997 produced under the direction of Sir Arvi
(ISBN 1 875618 37 6). At the date of writing, this
was available on the internet at http://www.ea.gov.au/atmosphere/airquality/urban-air/pubs/urban.pdf
- The most efficient aircraft (767) carries
a fuel efficiency of 80 seat miles/gallon.(about 28 Km/Litre).(p132)
- A fully laden 747 carries 217,000 litres of
- A 747 burns 10 l/sec during takeoff, and
over a journey.(p128)
- Sydney reported 20.3 million passengers in
is anticipated there will be 40.4 million in 2009/10.(p128)
- Sydney airport's percentage share of URBAN
produced was 0.6%(CO), 3.2%(NOX), 0.6%(HC) (p128)
- The "Urban Airshed" includes only the first one
flying time, and the last 5 minutes of flying time.(p128)$
$ The report stated the first 5 Km
takeoff, and 20KM before landing.(p128)
At 300 KM/H that is one minute after takeoff, and
5 minutes prior to landing.
The following table was prepared using only the Arvi
Parbo document. Since those data were only for pollution produced
in the "Sydney Airshed", I have calculated the total pollution produced
by aircraft movement into and from Sydney by multiplying the figure
on Table 12 (p 131) by twenty (as an average) to account for a half
of the total pollution produced by aircraft (and inflicted on the
by each national/international aircraft alighting in Sydney. Car
pollution was given in Kilotons per annum on Table 1 (p31) and has been
converted to tonnes/day.
|Sydney Aircraft total Pollution
|Car Pollution in Sydney Basin.
DEDUCTIONS FROM THE FACTS.
- A four engined jetliner operating continuously
120 MW which is as much power as would be used by 130,000 people.
- Thirty-two four engined airplanes operating
could produce sufficient electricity to power Sydney.
- Three-hundred-twenty-four (324) four engined
supply the maximum power load for Australia.
- One hundred and fifty four (154) four engined
produce enough energy (averaged) to power Australia.
- Australia has fifty one domestic airplanes in
450,000 by the number of hours in a year = 365*24).
- Australia is responsible for twenty-two
being in the air continuously.(divide 200,000 by the number of hours in
a year = 365*24).
- For a journey of any distance, it costs at
much fuel and produces at least twice as much pollution to use an
in preference to a car. (Assumptions: aircraft and car are
& fuel efficient, and each carries the maximum of passengers).
- The aircraft operating
airport alone produce 40% of the hydrocarbons pollution, 60% of the NOX
pollution, and 16% of the CO pollution produced by all cars in the
basin (which has about 70% of the people in the state of NSW).
produce more than a quarter of the pollution that is produced by
generation in Australia. The actual pollution is probably closer
to one half, because power stations are comparatively clean. And
unlike power station pollution, most aircraft pollution happens right
centers of population. Fully laden Aircraft produce more than
the pollution per passenger km of fully laden family cars.
- I have used the maximum power figure (30 MW) of
However since flights average 54 minutes I believe that this is not too
- Regional aircraft movements were not included.
- Aircraft probably produce more pollution per
than coal fired power stations.
- Consequently the "deductions" could have
I believe within an order of magnitude of the actuality. I would
appreciate it if anyone who found errors or disagrees with my
reported them to me.
- Much of the data is from the CIA. The CIA
be moving & changing it's html pages. This makes the
of keeping up-to-date data & links challenging. I apologize for
Suggested solution? Use
tax breaks, and initiate a Very Fast Train project linking Melbourne,
Brisbane & Sydney to an International airport in Central NSW.
Turn existing city airports into parks. Australia could probably
manage with two international airports, one about central NSW (near
the other at a suitable distance from Perth. Intranational
should be banned except between towns with small populations, and
of this page
Created October 1997
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