Where are your manners, Sydney Airport?

Photograph of jet aircraft on landing approach for Sydney Airport runway 16R

Our home in Enmore is under the approach path to Runway 16R at Sydney Airport. We can cope (just) with the noise, but the electronic interference annoys the shit out of us. Time to fix that. Here’s an email I just entered into their website contact form.

Dear Sydney Airport,

We live in Enmore. When you turn on your electronic stuff to help the heavy jets land on Runway 16R, it often knocks out our Wi-Fi network. (It also overloads the pre-amp of our digital TV receiver, but since we’ve pretty much given up on broadcast TV this is less of a concern.) We can even predict the imminent arrival of a heavy because the network goes down about 15 or 20 seconds before we hear the approaching aircraft.

This happens on two different 801.11g 802.11g frequencies, two different brand wireless access points, and on whichever computers we’re using. Your comms or navaids, or maybe the aircraft themselves, can also interrupt a Telstra Next G data connection, so even switching to our alternate data link is problematic.

I understand that, for obvious practical reasons, we can’t shut down the airport. So I assume you’ll be sending someone around to resolve this interference with our legitimate use of the radio spectrum?

The disruption has of course been more frequent since the work on the cross runway has increased the daytime traffic over our home. Again, I understand that this work needs to be done.

However, like someone doing noisy renovations or holding a noisy but perfectly legitimate party, the polite, neighbourly thing would be something a bit better than sending us generic corporate propaganda. The polite, neighbourly thing would be to make good somehow. Give us the keys to your holiday shack while work’s in progress. Invite us over to see the new family room once it’s done. Send around a slab of beer and some grilled chicken breast fillets.

Or, just fix the problems you’re causing.

I look forward to your response. Like this email, it’ll be posted at stilgherrian.com. If it’s a bunch of legal or PR jargon which fails to acknowledge that the problem even exists, we’ll laugh.

Regards,

Stilgherrian

I’ll keep you posted if and when they respond.

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7 comments

  1. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    So, I submit the form and the on-screen message says:

    Thank you for your feedback, your comments are important to us. We will endeavour to respond within 72 hours, however If you require urgent assistance please contact us directly by phoning +61 2 9667 9111.

    There doesn’t seem to have been a confirmation via email.

    I’m annoyed to see my typo. “802.11g”, it should be. Le sigh.

  2. Matt Tulk’s avatar

    LOL — yes good luck with that one Stil, they won’t be doing that any time soon. I suspect they will tell you to move if you don’t like it. đŸ™‚

  3. Ben’s avatar

    Good luck đŸ™‚

  4. Michael Specht’s avatar

    I love it! I will contract you to write my letters from now on đŸ˜‰

  5. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    Sydney Airport, your 72 hours are up. Your endeavours have failed! However, I am patient. I continue to look forward to your helpful reply.

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I realise this is a “Yeah, good luck mate” scenario. Nevertheless, I don’t see how anyone could reasonably foresee the electromagnetic interference problem. Nor do I see why a large corporation should automatically be allowed to get away with causing a nuisance, in the common-law tort sense of the word.

    As much as anything else, this is a test of how Sydney Airport chooses to communicate with humans. They’ve failed the first test: responding within their stated timeframe. What’s next, I wonder?

  6. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    Sydney Airport replied by email today, passing the buck to Airservices Australia. Follow the link for all the details.

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