Sydney is set to finally get a second airport with Badgery’s Creek announced as the official site in April 2014. The new $2.5 billion airport will be located about 50kms west of the Sydney CBD, with planning and design work to start immediately and construction expected to begin in 2016.
The construction of the new airport is being driven by the fact that the existing Kingsford Smith airport at Mascot is nearing maximum flight capacity and by 2027 no slots will be available for new services. While it is widely expected that Kingsford Smith will always be Sydney’s primary passenger (and freight) airport, it is already struggling to accommodate the demand for flights in-and-out of the city, which is the key gateway for air traffic in-and-out of Australia.
It is anticipated that the Badgery’s Creek airport will be ready for its first flights by the mid 2020s – initially with a single-runway, however a parallel runway is planned for the future. The airport is ultimately expected to service around 2 million people, starting operation as a domestic airport with short-haul international fights being the next to follow.
Operating details are still being finalised, but the aviation industry is hoping the western Sydney airport will not be restricted by a curfew - such as the 11pm to 6am one enforced at Kingsford Smith. If this is the case, it will provide an increased incentive for airlines to fly there.
The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, which lobbies for international airlines, said “overseas carriers could show interest in flying to the new airport but that was unlikely to include premium airlines - at least initially. The construction of a single-runway airport at Badgerys Creek is seen as best suited for budget airlines, which are focused on so-called point-to-point travel.”
While many airlines have voiced their support for the airport, they are also waiting on more details surrounding the development of connecting infrastructure - such as road and rail networks - before committing.