Environmental Management

Environmental Management

Our Environment Management Approach

The Airports Act 1996 and the Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997 require operators of leased airports to prepare an Airport Environment Strategy that identifies sources of environmental impact associated with airport operations and outlines the environmental management strategies and actions that will be implemented at the Airport.

We have identified business operations, our own and our customers, new developments and aircraft operations as key sources of potential environmental impact at our Airports.

Acts and the Regulations also require operators of leased airports to address how they will:

  • Minimise pollution to air, land and water
  • Manage historic contamination
  • Identify and implement measures to reduce resource such as water, fuel and energy
  • Minimise waste and maximise recycling
  • Manage structures that have been identified as having heritage value
  • Manage biodiversity
Managing impacts associated with our business operations

We have developed an Environment Management System (EMS) to manage the environmental risks associated with our own business operations. The key risks associated with all of our business operations have been identified and procedures have been developed to manage those risks in consultation with our staff.

To ensure that our EMS continues to be fit for purpose we undertake annual reviews.

Managing impacts associated with our tenant’s business operations

We currently categorise our Customers into three tiers on the basis of potential environmental risk which is assessed on the nature of their operations as well as their past performance.

  • Tier 1 Customer operations have the potential for significant environmental risk, Tier 2 Customer operations the potential for moderate environmental risk and Tier 3 Customer operations the potential for minimal environmental risk.
  • Tier 1 & 2 Customer conduct annual environmental audits. These audits may be conducted by a staff member however every 2 years, in the case of Tier 1 Customer and every 3 years in the case of Tier 2 Customer, these audits must be conducted by an independent environmental auditor.
  • Tier 3 Customer are subject to environmental inspections at least every 3 years

If Customers hold ISO 14001 accreditation, this process supersedes the above mentioned auditing process. However Customers must demonstrate to Sydney Metro Airports that they hold ISO 14001 accreditation.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 Customers are also required to develop an Operational Environment Management Plan (OEMP) for their business.

Guidance material for our tenants on auditing and preparation of OEMP’s is available in Customer Resources

Managing impacts associated with developments on Airport

All new developments on the Airports are subject to a Development Approval and Building Approval process. Development Approval is undertaken by us, the airport operator, while Building Approval is undertaken by the Department-appointed Airport Building Controller (ABC).


Bankstown Airport Limited and Camden Airport Limited are airport-lessee companies for Bankstown Airport and Camden Airport respectively. Situated on Commonwealth land, both Bankstown and Camden Airports are primarily governed by the following federal legislation:

  • Airports Act 19961
  • Airports Regulations 19971
  • Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 19961
  • Airports (Building Control) Regulations 19961
  • Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 19971
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 19992

1Administered by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
2Administered by the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy

The Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997 outline the major obligations with respect to environmental matters on the Airports. These Regulations do not, however, apply to pollution or noise generated by aircraft (except ground based generated noise). The Commonwealth Government regulates these matters through the Air Navigation (Aircraft Engine Emissions) Regulations 1995 and the Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 1994 respectively.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) details requirements for the management of matters of national environmental significance such as threatened flora and fauna species, approvals of activities involving Commonwealth Government land and activities by Commonwealth Government agencies.

New South Wales State Government legislation applies where Commonwealth Government legislation is silent. Sydney Metro Airports will consider State Government legislation to achieve best practice environmental standards or where there is a material risk to off-airport environment.

In addition, various industry codes of practice, Australian Standards, relevant national and state environment protection measures and other guidelines are applicable to operators at the Airports.


Sydney Metro Airports management and employees are committed to providing a centre of excellence for aviation, commercial and industrial facilities at Bankstown and Camden Airports.

All staff appreciate that this commitment must include the adoption of best practice environmental management systems to ensure on-going improvement to the environmental health of the airport.

Sydney Metro Airports is committed to:

  • Promote a culture of shared responsibility for environmental and sustainability outcomes
  • Meet or exceed compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and statutory obligations
  • Identify, assess and manage risk to the environment
  • Improve our energy, water and resource efficiency, and take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise pollution and reduce waste and other adverse environmental effects
  • Develop our people and provide resources to enable us to meet our objectives and performance requirements
  • Value heritage and respect traditional land owner groups
  • Engage with the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC), the communities we work within and other stakeholders on sustainability and environmental matters
  • Promoting sustainable practices within the decision making process
  • Be transparent in the investigation of environmental incidents to identify all causal factors and actions taken to prevent recurrence and minimise environmental impact
  • Regularly monitor, review and evaluate our performance to ensure continuous environmental improvement across our airports

Sydney Metro Airports Environment and Sustainability Policy


Noise issues

Airservices Australia is responsible for managing and controlling aircrafts when taxiing, taking off, in flight and landing.

Noise issues related to these activities at the airports should be reported to Airservices Australia via the online form https://complaints.bksv.com/asa or on 1800 802 584 (free call) Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm (excluding public holidays).

Issues and complaints are monitored on a monthly basis to determine whether there are any particular trends or issues evident or whether any aircraft has operated outside its assigned tracks or altitude. If so, appropriate investigations are initiated and corrective action taken where applicable.

Further information about lodging complaints and queries is available on Airservices Australia website

This website is an initiative of Airservices Australia and the Australian Airports Association and is supported by the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman and aviation industry. This website has information on the causes and reporting of noise at airports and how the industry is working together to manage it.


You may be interested in the Airservices flight tracking program – WebTrack. WebTrak is a system providing the community with information on where and how high aircraft fly, as well as noise levels of these operations. It allows members of the public access to detailed information on aircraft operations around major airports, mostly aircraft from Sydney Airport, and some flights around Bankstown Airport.

Aviation and ground based noise

Noise in general is a complex and subjective issue, and aircraft noise is no different. Many of the ways used to describe sound itself rely on complex terms such as non-linear metrics and is often not easily understood. We have developed a guide to make Aviation Noise more easily understood.

Guidance on minimising noise can be found at Bankstown Airport Aircraft Engine Ground Running Guidelines and Camden Airport Aircraft Engine Ground Running Guidelines.

PFAS Management

PFAS Management at Bankstown and Camden Airports

As part of its ongoing environmental management in accordance with its Environment Strategy and the Airports Act and regulations, Sydney Metro Airports is assessing and monitoring the presence of PFAS on both our airports and is working closely with stakeholders including the airport’s major customers and the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities on management options.

What is PFAS?

Per- and poly- fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are manufactured chemicals which are found in soils, surface water and groundwater in most urban areas. Historically at airports, one of the uses of PFAS has been in firefighting foam (known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) of the type needed for petroleum fuel fires or spills. At the airport, AFFF has been used in responding to – and training for – firefighting emergencies.

PFAS are persistent chemicals which do not break down easily. While no conclusive evidence has been found so far of PFAS exposure causing adverse human health impacts, research in this area is ongoing.

What is Sydney Metro Airports doing about PFAS?

Environmental monitoring has identified the presence of PFAS contamination on our airports. Sydney Metro Airports is conducting detailed environmental investigations to better understand the extent of the presence of PFAS, and will keep stakeholders and the community updated about PFAS management.

For more information on PFAS visit

enHealth Guidance Statements on Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances

Australian Health Protection Principal Committee PFAS substances FactSheet

PFAS National Environmental Management Plan

Australian Government PFAS

EPA NSW PFAS in New South Wales

AirServices National PFAS Management Program

PFAS – Contamination and Animal Health

Botany Bay Fishing and Dietary Advice

Expert Health Panel on PFAS – Media Release May 2018

Environmental Incidents

At Sydney Metro Airports the most common environmental risk is those associated with spills and leaks. Further information on this risk can be obtained from Customer Resources

All environmental incidents are to be reported to the Airport Environment and Heritage Manager using the Environmental Incident Notification. Sydney Metro Airports will review and analyse this information to determine how to avoid or minimise similar incidents in the future.

This applies to all environmental incidents that occur on airport or incidents with the potential to impact the airport including those resulting in;

Soil pollution: most often caused by chemical, paint, oil or fuel spills; but sometimes caused by disposal of metal filings or sand blasting wastes to soil.

Water pollution: most often caused by chemical, paint, oil or fuel spills but also caused by release of aircraft or vehicle wash water to stormwater drains.

Air pollution: normally caused by emissions of noxious or hazardous vapours from industrial processes or chemical storage facilities, but also includes the generation of significant quantities of dust.

Noise pollution: abnormally loud or sustained loud noise most often caused by aircraft ground engine running in inappropriate locations on the airport or construction.

Illegally dumped materials: includes dumped materials of any nature.

Fire damage: particularly in natural vegetated areas (such as bushland areas on airport) or in chemical stores.

Potential or material harm: to environmentally significant areas including vegetation or wildlife, natural ecosystems, items or buildings having heritage significance.

Incidents involving a spill of greater than 5 litres, and/or spills that enter a waterway or damage an environmentally significant area should be reported immediately to the Duty Airport Operations Officer on 0419 294 432 and notification to the Sydney Metro Airports Environment and Heritage Manager on 02 8709 9409 as soon as practicable thereafter.

Environmental Incident Notification

Please complete the Environment Incident Form and return to
Sydney Metro Airports Environment and Heritage Manager
Management Centre
PO Box 6450
Wetherill Park NSW 1851


Email: environment@SMAirports.com.au