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Ground Based Augmentation System Sydney Airport

Caption: Nick with the Hon. Warren Truss MP; Minister for Infrastructure and Deputy Prime Minister.


On the 2nd of July of this year, I accompanied the Minister for Infrastructure and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Warren Truss MP to launch the state-of-the-art Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) at Sydney Airport, just shy of my electorate of Barton.


The GBAS is an elegant piece of satellite-based technology known as ‘SmartPath’. It is a precision approach and landing system which is remarkably accurate, guiding aircraft to the accuracy of one metre even in low visibility conditions.


This technology, first developed by Honeywell in 2009 as the world’s first GPS-based landing system, is the only of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Airservices Australia worked with Honeywell in testing and implementing the service in Australia.


SmartPath will result in fewer delays and diversions due to poor weather, a real win for all passengers of aircraft coming into Sydney Airport. This will ensure that the running of the airport is more efficient, given the disproportionate impact that a single delay can have on an entire day’s flights.

This state-of-the-art technology will be a good thing for international visitors, domestic commuters, people making transfers, employees of the airport and pilots. It will optimise the operating environment for the Australian aviation sector and Australian industry as a whole.


The implementation of SmartPath will reduce costs to industry, save fuel, and provide benefits to passengers as well as operators. I am particularly interested in the efficient running of Sydney Airport and the savings that can be made in time and money by its operators as my electorate of Barton is its single biggest employment base.

Furthermore, the technology will have a positive impact on our national carrier.


Qantas will be the first Australian carrier to use the system at Sydney Airport. Through the use of the GBAS, Qantas will reap major benefits in reducing fuel burn – the biggest operational cost to the carrier.


The decision will benefit all airport employees and commuters in the seat of Barton as well as having a broader innovative effect, transitioning Sydney Airport and Australian airports into aviation systems of the twenty-first century.


The installation of this technology reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to deploying new technology which will improve safety and boost service delivery in aviation.


I want to commend the Minister for Infrastructure, the Honourable Warren Truss MP, for the work he has done with the airline industry in cooperation with Qantas, Honeywell, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Airservices Australia.


It was fantastic to be alongside the Minister as he officially launched the technology at Sydney Airport. Airservices Senior Engineering Specialist, Gordon Young, demonstrated to me and the Minister the mechanics of the SmartPath system both inside the control tower and on the runway.


Seeing the system up close made me very proud of this technology and what it will mean for Australia, both in terms of our excellence in aircraft technology and more particularly the operating environment at Australia’s largest airport.


Between the Badgerys Creek Decision and this announcement, it is an exciting time for airports in Sydney and indeed for the electorate of Barton and adjoining areas.