29 Aug 2017
Long-awaited second airport in Sydney
The Australian Government has announced that it will build a second international airport; costing up to $5bn to construct. Western Sydney Airport (WSA) will be located at Badgerys Creek; 50km west from the city centre. It will become the first major airport developed in Australia for more than 50 years. The new 3.7km runway is expected to handle 10 million passengers each year. The government is responsible for the project's development and future airport operations. Sydney Airport Group; current operator; declined the opportunity owing to potential financial risks in the future. Despite plans to install biometric technology for better processing; Sydney Airport is struggling to accommodate the current volume of arrival and departure flights. Two independent reports published in 2012 and 2013 confirm that Sydney Airport will not be capable of handling extra flights by 2027- and the economy may face a $60bn loss due to the limited capacity. Preparation works are carried out for the 1;780-hectare greenfield site at Badgerys Creek; including removing structures within the area and closing down roads. Full construction will begin in late 2018 and the airport is expected to operate by 2026. The first stage of development will be completed by the mid-2020s; including terminal and runway areas; cargo facilities; dedicated maintenance areas; a public transport hub; parking and areas designated for business parks. The location was chosen thanks to its convenient connection to road and rail transport links and its ideal position to deliver jobs and economic growth for Western Sydney. In addition; Australian Government will invest $180m in a biodiversity offset package; which includes a 117-hectare environmental conservation zone in the new airport. The airport promises to generate approximately 20;000 direct and indirect jobs in Western Sydney by the beginning of 2030. The number of direct jobs is expected to increase to 60;000 by 2060.