Sydney Airport (SYD) is one of the oldest continually operating airports in the world. This also means that the city of Sydney has slowly grown around the airport over the years, with many people now living directly under the flight path. This is particularly true for those in the inner west. When buying a home in this area it is important to do some research as to whether you will be affected by the flight paths. The weekend flight paths are often very different from those during the week. The street seems sleepy and quiet during the Saturday Open for Inspection, but during the week you might be able to feel the windows rattle as a 747 thunders in to land. The curfew from 11pm until 6am does help, however airlines are allowed to break the curfew (for a fee) and of course a curfew is not guaranteed to stand forever (especially now that Macquarie Bank owns the airport).
So what can you do? The first website you should visit is the Air Services Australia site, in particular their Noise Exposure Index Reports section. Attachment D is particularly interesting, the report provides noise contour charts that are overlaid on an abstract map of Sydney. The various coloured lines and shading show the regions exposure to aircraft noise. The noise contours for July-September 2008 are shown to the right. The rest of the report is also interesting, as it shows changes in noise and movements over time, notes reasons for some of the changes (i.e. the east west runway currently being closed due to a safety upgrade) and the types of planes.
Some of the councils affected by aircraft noise also have noise exposure reports on their websites (although they are often difficult to find). For example Marrickville Council provides a Australian Noise Exposure Forecast 2023/2024 (ANEF) Map. This provides forecasted noise exposure information to those people looking to live in or around the Marrickville region. This means you can not only see what the noise levels are like currently, but also predict whether you will be affected in the future. With constant delays and indecision still preventing the construction of the second Sydney Airport, it seems wise to plan for aircraft noise being a staple of Sydney for a long time to come.