Part 3: Listening comprehension

Part 3: Listening comprehension

This listening exercise is based on news report about delays at Sydney airport (SYD), Australia

Before listening

Use internet and / or dictionary resources to make sure you know what the following words and expressions mean:

  • security screening
  • knock-on effect
  • spokesperson / spokeswoman / spokesman
  • CCTV
  • backlog
  • appalling

Now listen to the report and answer the following questions:

1) Choose the correct option in brackets to complete these sentences:

  • (Hundreds / Thousands / Dozens) of passengers at Sydney Airport are facing major delays because of (bad weather / a strike / a technical problem)
  • Limited security screening reopened (at 7 o’clock / at 19:00 / by 7:00)
  • The technical problem affected (baggage handling / check-in security / CCTV)

2) Complete this table with information given in the report about Sydney’s three terminals

Terminal Traffic handled by the terminal Affected by problem (yes / no) ?
T1 Yes
T2 Domestic

3) Choose from these options to complete this paragraph:

8:00 – international – 7:45 – 7:55 – 6:45 – half – domestic – Qantas – hundreds – 6:55 – thousands – 1/4 – a third – 2/3

4) The Airport spokeswoman Sally Maclennan said, “Everyone has been fantastic [and] we thank them for their patience and understanding.” Based on the comments of passengers mentioned in the report, is this true?


Thousands of passengers at Sydney Airport’s international and domestic terminals are facing major delays on Friday morning due to a “technical problem.” While limited security screening reopened just before 7am, the major delays are expected to have a knock-on effect at airports across Australia.

A spokesperson for Sydney Airport said the issue had affected systems including CCTV, and interrupted passenger processing at the T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals. The T3 Qantas domestic terminal was not affected.

Security was reopened at both the international and domestic terminals about 6.45am. By 7.30am, about a third of the thousands of passengers in the domestic terminal were through screening.

By 8am the backlog of waiting passengers was returning to normal at both the international and domestic terminals and new arrivals were being processed, Sydney Airport spokeswoman Sally Maclennan said.

“Everyone has been fantastic,” she said. “We thank them for their patience and understanding.”

Adrian Sewell, 42, arrived at the airport at 6.30am for a 9am Perth flight to “beat the Sydney traffic”, and did not seem bothered by the delays.

“It’s inconvenient but it’s not too bad,” he said.

“Flights seem to be leaving almost on time. It’s not the end of the world.” However, not everyone has been so understanding, with one passenger calling the delays, “appalling.”

Sydney Morning Herald (adapted) 9 March 2018

Radiotelephony exercise

Listen to this exchange between a pilot and City Ground. Now complete the pilot’s part in the dialogue:

  1. City Ground, Picadair ________ , request __________
  2. Picadair ________, taxi holding point _______, hold short runway _______.
  3. Behind ____ __________ __________ _____, cross runway ______ at ______. Picadair _______
  4. Taxi __________ ________ A2, _________ ___________ runway 12, Picadair _______
  5. Contact tower on _____________, Picadair ________

Pilot: City Ground, Picadair 245, request taxi

ATC: Picadair 245, City Ground, taxi holding point B4, hold short runway 23

Pilot: Taxi holding point B4, hold short runway 23, Picadair 245

ATC: Picadair 245, behind the landing Boeing 737, cross runway 23 at B4

Pilot: Behind the landing Boeing 737, cross runway 23 at B4. Picadair 245

ATC: Picadair 245, taxi holding point A2, hold short runway 12

Pilot: Taxi holding point A2, hold short runway 12, Picadair 245

ATC: Picadair 245, contact tower on 124.525

Pilot: Contact tower on 124.525, Picadair 245

ATC: ZT-B, roger. You are number 2 behind the Cessna 152 on final, call back on final runway 23

Pilot: Number 2, will call back final runway 23