Airport says the sky's the limit

Sydney Airport plans announced included designs for the new passenger terminal.
Sydney Airport plans announced included designs for the new passenger terminal. 

Sydney Airport has revealed how it plans to ''comfortably'' double the number of passengers it handles each year by 2033, playing down the need for a second airport.

The draft 20-year master plan, to be released on Wednesday, includes the integration of the international and domestic terminals and details plans to reconfigure surrounding roads to deal with growing congestion.

The document, which assumes no changes to runways, the curfew or the flight cap, argues that such measures will ensure the airport can handle projected growth well beyond the next two decades.

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That growth is now put at more than 74 million passengers a year by 2033, revising down the airport's forecast in 2009 of 79 million passengers by 2029.

The airport, which had 37 million passengers last year, has previously said it does not expect to be at capacity until 2045, although some proponents for a second airport argue this will be reached much sooner.

‘We’ll be able to meet demand well beyond 2033’ - Kerrie Mather, CEO.

Chief executive Kerrie Mather said only 63 per cent of the airport's landing and take-off slots were being used. ''While we support the identification by government of a site for a second Sydney airport, our planning shows that we'll be able to meet demand well beyond 2033,'' she said.

All change: By 2033, the airport is projected to handle 74.3 million passengers.
All change: By 2033, the airport is projected to handle 74.3 million passengers. Photo: Jessica Hromas

''And remember, when the time comes for a second Sydney airport, we hold a first right of refusal to develop and operate it.''

Sydney Airport, backed by Macquarie Group, has consulted widely about its proposal for integrated terminals, which would use ''swing gates'' to allow international, domestic and regional flights to depart from T1 and T2-T3.

''The proposed terminal concept can comfortably accommodate the projected passenger, aircraft and ground transport traffic flows to 2033 and beyond,'' the plan says. Made possible once Qantas relinquishes its lease of T2 about 2018, this would reduce the need for passengers to travel to separate terminals to catch connecting flights.

"It will vastly improve the experience for passengers transferring between international and domestic services, many of whom will be able to transfer under one roof,'' Ms Mather said.

The airport says the changes would help to ease congestion on surrounding roads by spreading the international and domestic

peak periods over the two Mascot precincts. The problem of congestion is also addressed through its first ground transport plan, which proposes a reconfigured road and new city-bound exit for T1 by 2018.

A new one-way ring road would service T2-T3 by directing five lanes of traffic into the precinct from Sir Reginald Ansett Drive and out via Qantas Drive.

It is predicted this would improve flow through traffic lights by up to 33 per cent and halve the average delay at the intersection of O'Riordan Street and Joyce Drive.

Ms Mather said the airport would ''continue to advocate'' for new and more affordable public transport, which now accounts for 17 per cent of all trips to the airport.

A new bus and parking facility would be built adjacent to T3. This terminal would be expanded to accommodate A380s.

The plan assumes that newer, quieter aircraft such as the A380 will replace 747s by 2033. As a result, its forecast aircraft noise footprint will be similar to that of 2011.

The draft master plan will be on public exhibition until August 30 and submitted to the federal Transport Minister in December.

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