Sydney Airport arrivals – south flow

Flight pathSuburbs to the north of the airport are affected primarily by aircraft arriving to the parallel runways when they are being used in a southerly direction, (“south flow”), as shown by the flight paths labelled A1, A2, A3 and A4 in the image, right.

Arriving aircraft must align with the runway from a considerable distance out from the airport, and fly straight in. The aircraft that fly over the northern suburbs are either travelling to align with the runway and join the final approach (flight paths A2, A3 and A4), or are already lined up with the runway and on the final approach (A1).

These aircraft are well into their descents for landing and are continuing to descend under air traffic control instructions. This means that the altitude of each aircraft will vary according to how far it has left to fly before intercepting the final approach and the altitudes of other aircraft in the area. Aircraft will generally intercept the final approach at around 3000 feet in altitude. In the vicinity of Berrilee aircraft will be generally within the altitude range of 5000 to 7000 feet if landing on the easternmost runway or between 5000 and 6000 feet if landing on the closer westernmost runway.

While it might seem like the northern suburbs are a long way from the airport, in aviation terms they are relatively close. For example, the flying time to the runway from Hornsby is around five minutes.

The images below show the actual tracks of aircraft arriving over suburbs to the north of Sydney.

The first image is zoomed in on your area:
Northern suburbs

The next image is zoomed out to show the approach all the way to the runways.

Wide view of approach from the north

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