Western Sydney Airport Approved for Alternative to Sydney Airport

T he federal government of Australia has given the green light to what is currently known as Western Sydney Airport, which will be located on a site at Badgerys Creek just east of Blue Mountains National Park; and is expected to begin operations with a single runway and serve five million passengers per year approximately ten years from now help to alleviate traffic at Sydney Airport as demand for aviation services is forecast to double over the next 20 years and will continue to grow…

Western Sydney Airport Approved for Alternative to Sydney Airport

…but relief for the only major commercial airport serving the greater Sydney metropolitan area is not the only purpose for the new airport. As a potential major generator of economic activity, Western Sydney Airport is expected to to generate nearly 9,000 direct jobs during the early part of the 2030s decade, with approximately 6,900 indirect jobs created in the surrounding area; and by the year 2063 — when a second parallel runway is expected to be completed and 82 million passengers per year are forecast to be using the airport — approximately 60,000 direct jobs will have been created.

The Western Sydney Airport project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in recent years in Australia. At a size of 1,780 hectares, the Badgerys Creek site for the new airport is almost twice the size of the site on which Sydney Airport currently exists.

Sustainability will be an important part of Western Sydney Airport. Surface water treatment, water recycling, reduced usage of fuel, and ground electrical power to reduce the emissions of airplanes while at the gates are four of the many ways in which the impact the new airport will have on the environment will be kept to a minimum. Additionally, an environmental conservation zone comprised of approximately 117 hectares will be established along Badgerys Creek to protect a range of flora and fauna as part of the first major greenfield airport development in decades. Further details pertaining to the finalized environmental impact statement of Western Sydney Airport are found here.

In addition to transportation via rail — which will play a vital role in supporting both the growth of western Sydney and the proposed airport — road projects under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan are already well underway and will eventually connect the proposed Western Sydney Airport to the existing road network which currently serves the greater Sydney metropolitan area.

Western Sydney Airport: Additional Information

In addition to the official Internet web site of the new airport, additional information for Western Sydney Airport is also available.

The official brochure of Western Sydney Airport is provided by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development of the federal government of Australia with which you can find out more about the Western Sydney Airport project; what has already happened so far; and what are the next steps.

Interactive videos and three-dimensional animation illustrate what Western Sydney Airport could look like once it is built based on the indicative layouts found in the official plan for the airport, which includes details on concept design, indicative airport layout and zoning, indicative air traffic forecasts and noise contours for the initial airport development and also the longer term development. This plan outlines an adaptable approach to allow a Western Sydney Airport to grow in stages to meet projected aviation demand.

Compliance must be adhered to an extensive number of environmental conditions placed on the development of Stage 1 of the proposed Western Sydney Airport — including management of everything from biodiversity, noise, air quality, soil, water, safety, land, waste and ground transportation to the cultural heritages of indigenous Aboriginal people, Europeans and others.

Prior to the opening of Western Sydney Airport, a comprehensive airspace planning and design process will be undertaken, which includes designing and finalizing flight paths — which is a large and complex task that will take several years to complete — ongoing community consultation; and a focus on minimising overflight of residential areas.

Summary

Having used Sydney Airport myself as a passenger, I can vouch that a second commercial airport is definitely needed.

Creating new airports from scratch is not exactly done every day — in fact, approval is incredibly difficult…

…and although Berlin and London have had their share of angst pertaining to new airports, attempts to establish a second commercial airport to serve the greater Atlanta metropolitan area have been ongoing for years without a successful resolution — such as in the form of Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport, which is now known as Silver Comet Field at Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport.

Similar to Sydney, Atlanta is served by only one major commercial airport — but unlike Sydney, a second commercial airport to serve the greater Atlanta metropolitan area will not happen anytime in the foreseeable future.

I am personally pleased that the environment is not only being taken into account in the construction of Western Sydney Airport; but that the planning of it seems to be quite careful and meticulous.

May Western Sydney Airport serve the greater Sydney metropolitan airport well once it opens.

Map and documents ©2016 Commonwealth of Australia.

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