Simple Flying - Joe Kunzler
Climate change and strong winds are pushing all Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport air traffic onto one runway.
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (YSSY) is Australia’s busiest airport and thanks to severe weather, more and more dependent on a single runway. With climate change creating more turbulence, this may become a more regular occurrence at more airports.
One should note the airport has three runways, two of which generally go north to south, with the third runway (07/25) generally going west to east. This third asphalt runway, with a length of 2,530 meters or 8, 301 feet is the runway that YSSY increasingly depends on due to strong winds.
YSSY has had issues with crosswinds for a significant while, as per above. But the worst instance was arguably around September 22, 2022, when Airservices Australia – the Australian government air navigation service – had to issue the following statement:
“Safety is our No. 1 priority. Sydney Airport is expected to shortly move to operating off a single runway due to poor weather conditions – heavy showers and strong north-easterly winds. We are constantly monitoring weather conditions. We expect parallel runway operations will resume at Sydney Airport as soon as conditions permit.”