The results of living under a runway

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 03 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1464
  1. Simon Chapman
  1. Associate Professor of Community Medicine, Sydney.

    Sydney's airport is only 12 km from the downtown area. For years its two intersecting runways have carried all domestic and international traffic, but from the mid-1980s delayed departures and interminable holding patterns on arrival made it obvious that the two runways were not coping. Two main strategies were considered: to build a second airport 40 km south west of Sydney, connected by a fast rail service, or to build a third runway parallel to the existing north-south strip.

    After intense lobbying from the business community and the tourism industry, concerned to maintain the convenience of the existing airport, the third runway option was fast tracked by the federal government. It opened on 4 November, six months ahead of schedule and A$50m (pounds sterling25m) under budget. Since then it has stayed on …

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