16 March 2008
The Federal and NSW governments should dust-off plans for a second major Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek, according to Aaron Gadiel, chief executive of the Urban Taskforce.
In 1999, the then Federal Government predicted that Sydney Airport was forecast to reach capacity in 2006 or 2007, Mr Gadiel said.
The most comprehensive environmental assessment of any transport infrastructure proposal in Australian history showed that the airport could be built in-line with strict environmental safeguards.
Yet, in 2005, the former Federal Government succumbed to political pressure and mothballed the project.
Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, despite being Australia’s busiest airport, is constrained by both its size and capacity.
A cap of 80 scheduled aircraft movements each hour limits its ability to meet Sydneys needs as Australias international gateway.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions latest report this week confirms that Sydney airport is experiencing greater average delays than other Australian airports.
The report reveals that Sydney Airports higher peak movement rates, terminal area constraints and the limitations imposed by noise sharing are contributing to higher delays, Mr Gadiel said.
The high peak demand has led to high charges unfairly penalising discount airlines such as Virgin or Tiger Airways whose competitive advantage comes from their lower price.
There is no opportunity for regional airlines to increase their access to Kingsford-Smith, because regional slots have been capped since the year 2000.
There is a rare alignment of the planets right now the same party in government at a State and Federal level, and no election due for three years.
Now is the time to decide to proceed with the second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek and preserve Sydneys status as a world city and international gateway to Australia.
The necessary land remains in Commonwealth ownership. Earlier this month, the State Government announced funding and a timeline for a 13 kilometre railway link to Leppington.
This is more than half of the necessary rail link to join a future Badgerys Creek airport to the Sydney rail system. The State Government should move now to reserve the remaining 11 kilometre stretch as a future rail corridor.
The Western Sydney Employment Lands Investigation Area is adjacent to the airport site.
A second airport in the region will provide a major boost to job-generating industries.
The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.
The NSW development industrys annual turnover is $35 billion and employs 180,000 people, accounting for six percent of the States total employment. It is the fifth largest contributor to the State economy.
Chief Executive Officer,
Phone: 0417 477 904 or (02) 9238 3955