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).
We have a comprehensive Development Approval process to ensure that proposed developments are in keeping with our Master Plans and the objectives of our Airport Environment Strategies and that they are of the highest standard building and environmental standards.
All new developments are required to complete an assessment of environmental effects that helps us to identify the environmental issues associated with the proposed development. We use this to determine whether further environment investigation is warranted and to identify the environmental controls we may need to place on the proposed development.
Our Urban Design Guidelines identify the type of development permissible within defined areas on the airport and provide guidance on such things as built form, landscaping, water management, waste management, noise / acoustics, heritage and energy efficiency.
Developments that are approved require a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP). This document identifies the environmental risks associated with construction of the proposed development and the management strategies that will be put in place to manage those risks. During construction we monitor activity on the building site to ensure that the environmental risks associated with the works are being managed appropriately.
Under the Airports Act 1996, certain types of development, referred to as “major airport developments” require the preparation and approval of a Major Development Plan (MDP). The Airports Act 1996 defines what constitutes a major airport development. Such developments are subject to environmental assessment including public consultation and may not proceed until approved by the Minister.
Guidance material on the development application process is available in Development.
Managing impacts associated with aircraft operations
Noise associated with aircraft operations extends well beyond the boundary of the Airport and thus our sphere of control. Nevertheless, we have some influence on aircraft noise and we will continue to work with governments, local communities, aircraft operators, regulators and air navigation service providers to help develop practical solutions to minimise noise impacts off airport.
For information on our aircraft noise management initiatives see to Noise