Decades of indecision over the location and construction of a second international airport for Sydney have finally ended. The Australian government last week approved plans for the construction of a new airport at Badgerys Creek in the city's western suburbs.
Badgerys Creek has been a potential site since 1986 and in the past 20 years the federal government acquired about 1,800 hectares (4,446 acres) in the area, while the surrounds have been kept
largely free of development.
The new airport, called Western Sydney Airport, is scheduled to open in the mid-2020s, easing pressure on Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport, the main gateway into Australia which is reaching capacity.
The first stage will see the construction of one runway, able to handle Airbus A380s, with a second expected to be needed by 2050.
Cargo is an indispensable component, ALC
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the decision regarding Western Sydney Airport. In a statement, it urged the federal government to ensure freight is a central component of all new infrastructure planning and construction works.
“Australia’s large and rising national freight task includes significant growth in the air freight sector and so it is imperative Sydney’s next airport is planned and built in such a way that accommodates expected future freight flows,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC managing director.
24/7 traffic demanded
“According to the 2013 Aviation White Paper, air freight volumes are expected to double by 2025 while the NSW Government predicts Sydney Airport will deal with more than 1.5 million tonnes of cargo each year by the 2035 - up from 650,000 tonnes in 2012,” Kilgariff said. He added that the second Sydney airport should have sufficient space to construct future logistics facilities and infrastructure links when they are required. In addition, from an operations perspective, Western Sydney Airport should be a curfew-free airport, he noted.
Nol van Fenema