Minister rejects Badgerys Creek for second airport

"What the government has to do is not just advance our position; we have to also take on - head on, face to face - our critics" ... Anthony Albanese.
"What the government has to do is not just advance our position; we have to also take on - head on, face to face - our critics" ... Anthony Albanese. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Badgerys Creek is clearly the best site for a much-needed second airport for Sydney, a major government study has found.

The study also recommends lifting the movement cap at Sydney Airport from 80 to 85 flights an hour.

The Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, this morning released the joint study into aviation capacity for the Sydney region, which was commissioned more than two years ago.

The study shows Sydney Airport is already struggling to accommodate the demand for flights into and out of the city and, by 2027, the airport will not be able to fit any extra flights.

By 2030, the study shows, another airport is needed if Sydney is to keep growing at its current pace.

Releasing the report, Mr Albanese repeated the government's position it would not build an airport at Badgerys Creek, the south-west Sydney site acquired for an airport between 1986 and 1991.

But the study nevertheless describes the area as the logical and most cost-effective site for another airport.

"It is located close to growing markets in the western regions of Sydney and close to road and rail transport links," the report said.

"In turn, it would provide much needed employment and economic opportunities for the growing residential population of western Sydney.

"The site has been protected from encroaching development and given that the Commonwealth owns the land it would be less costly and disruptive to the community as a development site than other options."

But Mr Albanese instead said the government would begin planning studies for the second-best airport site, Wilton, further to the south-west.

The report, prepared by state and federal bureaucrats as well as private sector representatives, said Wilton would probably not attract enough business to be viable before 2030.

Wilton would become a more attractive airport option if Sydney's future growth extended to the south-west, past Leppington.

Mr Albanese invited representatives from the NSW government to release the report with him but they declined.

The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has already said he opposes a second airport anyway in the Sydney basin.

Mr O'Farrell has suggested using Canberra Airport, linked to Sydney by high speed rail, as an alternative.

But today's report, more than 3000 pages long, says that is not a feasible option.

Mr Albanese also ruled out lifting the movement cap at Sydney Airport from 80 to 85.

Badgerys Creek

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