Information from Aircraft Noise Ombudsman

This information was supplied on 18/3/2011 from the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman

“Airservices Australia does have a web based tool that displays aircraft tracks called WebTrak, which is available at the following link – WebTrak.  You may find this service useful in tracking, and identifying, aircraft movements over La Perouse.  While the raw data for this service comes directly from the calibrated radar system, the sizes of the aircraft are not to scale (some aircraft are displayed being about 2 kilometres wide) and this needs to be taken into account when viewing the display.

In relation to the accuracy of the map you received, I am assuming that you are referring to a map obtained from Airservices Australia.  I am familiar with these maps, and while I am unable to comment on the one specifically prepared for you, I can advise that the source for these records is the same as that used by air traffic control.  As such it is subject to stringent calibration requirements and has very small error tolerances.  I do acknowledge however that you have witnessed aircraft overhead, and there are a number of factors that would reinforce that view.  For example, the aircraft departing to the south on the eastern of the two parallel runways undertake a slight left turn straight after take-off for separation with aircraft from the western parallel runway.  When abeam Port Botany, a slight right turn is required so that the aircraft tracks out via the entrance to Botany Bay.  This would give the perception to those in La Perouse that the aircraft is directly overhead, despite being a small distance to the west.  I emphasise that it is only a small distance to the west due to the narrow entrance to Port Botany, and there may be a small number of aircraft, due to their navigational tolerances, that would pass over the La Perouse foreshore.  I should also add that given the small distance, and the configuration of the aircraft (that is, being in a slight right angle of bank), the noise difference between overhead and slightly to the west is likely to be minimal.”

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