Jun 19, 2009

Sydney Airport Master Plan 2009

Sydney Airport Master Plan 2009

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 19 2009

Today I have approved Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport’s 2009 Master Plan – but in doing so I note its long term forecasts are further evidence that Sydney will require new airport capacity.

Sydney Airport Corporation plans to further develop the site in order to support the aviation activities so critical to the economy.

Already this critical piece of aviation infrastructure handles about a third of the nation’s air traffic, generates approximately $8 billion in annual economic activity and supports more than 200,000 jobs.

Specifically, the Master Plan proposes to increase the proportion of the site used for aviation activities from 86 to 91 per cent; improve the taxiway system so aircraft can move around the site quickly and safely; expand freight handling facilities; and provide more gates at both the domestic and international terminals.

The Government is absolutely committed to maintaining the existing cap on movements as well as the curfew. Noise sharing arrangements will continue.

My approval of the Master Plan does not however indicate acceptance that the Airport can and should handle the projected growth in traffic, with the annual number of aircraft flying into and out of Sydney expected to rise to 427,000 by 2029.

Such traffic volumes would place considerable added pressure on those communities living around the Airport.

As the Airport gets busier, the supporting road and rail infrastructure will become more congested, delays more frequent and nearby residents exposed to even longer periods of aircraft noise.

The national interest dictates that Sydney will need new airport capacity.

That’s why I have today invited the NSW Government to participate in a joint study to assess options, identify potential sites and evaluate investment strategies for delivering additional airport capacity.

The joint study will also look at ways of providing integrated transport solutions for the existing airport as well as any second airport. It will also consider the future of the Badgerys Creek site given the Government has ruled it out as an option for a second airport.

The study’s final terms of reference will be outlined in the National Aviation White Paper expected to be released later this year.

Sydney Airport Corporation is now required to publish the final Master Plan within 50 business days and make copies available to the public.