Second Sydney Airport
The Second Sydney Airport is an ongoing proposition for another airport to supplement or replace the existing Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney, Australia. Estimated to cost between $6 and $8 billion, governments of the past 30 years have not pursued the issue to anything beyond some preliminary investigations and some precautionary land acquisition.1
Since the construction of Kingsford Smith, aviation in Sydney has grown significantly. Between 1985-86 and 2011-12 total passenger movements through Sydney more than tripled from 9.5 million to 36.0 million.2 Almost half of all scheduled flights in Australia land or take off at Kingsford Smith, and the airport dealt with 45% of international passengers in 1998.3
As of February 2013, the Gillard Government supports the concept of a second airport, but is waiting on a report into whether it's preferred site of Wilton in south-western Sydney is a viable option.4 The federal Opposition is split on the issue, with prominent Sydney-based ministers, including Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison, supporting the Badgerys Creek site while the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has not committed to constructing an airport at all.5 NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell strongly opposes an airport being built in Sydney, favouring increasing capacity at Kingsford Smith and building a high-speed rail connection between Sydney and Canberra Airport.6 This proposition has been described as "economically infeasible".4
Planning for a second airport for Sydney commenced in the 1970s with the Major Airport Needs of Sydney (MANS) intergovernmental group established to select a site. In 1983 the newly elected Labor Federal Government hoped for quick decision, but it was not until 1986 that recommendations were made: Wilton or Badgerys Creek.7 The federal government under Bob Hawke decided upon Badgerys Creek, but in 1989 it also made the decision to permit the construction of the third runway at Kingsford Smith. This resulted in a great deal of political fallout, and the Keating Government made limited moves towards the new airport at Badgerys Creek.
At the 1996 election, Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced that he would explore the option of a second airport at Holsworthy, but rejected it in 1998 and confirmed Badgerys Creek as the preferred site in 1999.7 Commentators doubted if a major second airport for Sydney would ever be built, with a report given to the government in 1999 recommending that regional air travel be shifted to Bankstown Airport, a new general aviation airport be built at Badgerys Creek, a fast train between Sydney and Canberra be established, and investigation made on extension of the fast train to Melbourne and Brisbane.
In December 2000 the Federal Government decided not to build the second airport and shelved the very fast train scoping study, while keeping regional airlines at Kingsford Smith and expanding Bankstown and Canberra airports.8 In December 2003 John Anderson, the then transport minister, said "following exhaustive examination it is clear the existing airport at Mascot will be able to handle air traffic demands for a long time to come".9
In May 2004 it was revealed that State and Federal parliament had investigated the possibility of establishing the second Sydney airport at Well's Creek, not far from the townships of Sutton Forest, Berrima and Exeter. Before long however this option was discounted.9
The issue arose again in 2008, following the 2007 election of the Rudd Government. Convinced capacity at the current airport will be exhausted, it began a search for a new site. The Federal Government wants the second airport to be outside the Sydney basin and will examine alternatives from the Southern Highlands, to Newcastle and inland. It is believed various options, including a freight-only airport operation, Camden, converting part or all of RAAF Richmond and Canberra (or its nearby towns) as passenger and freight terminals were all to be investigated for feasibility. Bankstown and Badgerys Creek, according to sources, were not to be put forward.9
In 2009, Canberra Airport management proposed that it would be the most appropriate location for a second Sydney airport, provided that a high speed rail link (HSR) was built that reduced travel times between the cities to 50 minutes. Given existing development within the Sydney basin, a HSR link will probably be required whatever site is chosen, yet the Canberra option would potentially be cheaper overall. Existing infrastructure: runway, terminals, navigationals aids etc., would negate the need to develop a greenfields airport site.10 The estimated cost (in 2009) of the Sydney-to-Canberra link was A$8 billion to $10 billion.11
On Friday 2 March 2012 the Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese released a 3200 page joint report costing $8m into Sydneys aviation capacity needs. Commissioned by the minister in 2009, the report was prepared by both state and federal bureaucrats, and private sector representatives.12 It examined 34 potential airport sites.13
The studies major finding was that Badgerys Creek is "clearly the best site for a much-needed second airport for Sydney", describing the area as "the logical and most cost-effective site for another airport"12 The report also "calls for planning to begin on a second airport at Badgerys Creek"14 Badgerys' has been recommended by planners as an airport site since 1979, where 1700ha of land was acquired from 1986-199113 for an international airport, but in recent years has been rejected by both Labor and coalition politicians.14
The full report: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/sydney_av_cap/index.aspx
Sydney Airport is 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.12 The Sydney region passenger demand is forecast to reach 87 million passengers by 2035, more than doubling, and to double again by 2060.15 The study shows another airport is needed by 2030 if Sydney is to keep growing at current rates.1214 The study said this would delay flights across the country.13
- A$60 billion costs to the economy by 2060 due to capacity constraints.13
The study "advocates keeping the existing 11pm to 6am curfew for flights to Sydney's Mascot airport."14 But it does recommend lifting the movement cap at Sydney Airport from 80 to 85 flights an hour.12 Albanese ruled out raising the movement cap.12
When releasing the document Albanese reiterated that the government would not build an airport at Badgerys Creek.12 Albanese instead said the government would begin planning studies for the second-best airport site, Wilton, further to the south-west. The report said Wilton would probably not attract enough business to be viable before 2030."12 The NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, opposes a second airport in the Sydney basin, and suggested using Canberra Airport, linked to Sydney by high speed rail. NSW Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian supported this, but the report says that this option is not feasible.12
- A$1.7b for airport at Badgerys Creek or Wilton. A$300m for transport links to Badgerys Creek and A$2.3b for Wilton.13
Parallel-runway International airport:
- A$5.3b for the airport. A$1.7b for transport links to Badgerys Creek and A$5.7b for Wilton.13
In 2013 Mr Bob Meyer, planner at Cox Richardson Architects, presented a report that said only 2913 homes would be moderately impacted by aircraft noise if Badgerys Creek International Airport goes ahead.17 Most of the land surrounding the 17,000 hectare airport site is slated for industrial development, not residential, as part of the Western Sydney Employment Area.17
In February 2013, an alliance of Western Sydney councils (WSROC) reversed their position against an airport at Badgerys Creek, with a majority of members now supporting the site, citing economic value to the area.18 The Gillard Government further made clear it supported a second airport located in Sydney, but was awaiting a report due in March regarding the feasibility of their preferred Wilton location. While the Abbott-led Opposition has not committed to a position, prominent Ministers including Joe Hockey have voiced their support for Badgerys Creek.4 The NSW Government has remained firm in its opposition to any Sydney location, continuing to favour a rail link to Canberra. The Sydney Airport Corporation continues to claim Kingsford-Smith has sufficent capacity.18
- On 28 August 1973 the Minister for Transport Charlie Jones announced that Galston had been chosen by the Australian Government to meet Sydney's airport needs for the 1980s.19
- On 17 February 1986 the Minister for Aviation Peter Morris announced that a second Sydney airport would be built at Badgerys Creek.19 The Government spent $170 million acquiring land and developing the Badgerys Creek site over the following decade.19
- In 1997, the Howard Government rejected an airport site at Holsworthy army camp, having spent $8 million investigating the location.19
- On 14 May 2002, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services John Anderson told the Parliament that Government had concluded that Kingsford Smith Airport would be able to handle air traffic demand over the next decade, and that Bankstown Airport would be made available for any overflow traffic.20
- On 27 July 2003 Simon Crean announced that Badgerys Creek was no longer a suitable site for Sydney's second airport and the Labor Government would not build an airport at the site.21
- 2012 - Labor's preferred site is now Wilton
- List of airports in Greater Sydney
- List of airports in New South Wales
- Expansion of London Heathrow Airport
- Kerry O'Brien (17 August 1999). "Government delays decision on second Sydney airport". 7.30 Report. ABC Television. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (27 February 2013 (updated)). "Airport Traffic Data 1985–86 to 2011–12". BITRE. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Philip Laird (2001). "Where We Are Now". Back on Track (UNSW Press). p. 29. ISBN 0-86840-411-X.
- Simon Benson (21 February 2013). "Sydney's gridlocked airport choking the whole nation". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- Andrew Clennell (2 January 2013). "Liberals in Sydney airport dogfight". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- Henry Budd (16 February 2013). "Wilton option won't fly for our second airport". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Philip Laird (2001). "Where We Are Now". Back on Track (UNSW Press). p. 30. ISBN 0-86840-411-X.
- Anne Davies (28 May 2004). "Found: a new airport option". Sydney Morning Herald. www.smh.com.au. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Malcolm Farr (5 May 2008). "Search on for second Sydney airport". The Daily Telegraph. www.news.com.au. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Jano Gibson (10 February 2009). "Sydney to Canberra in 50 minutes: fast tracking second airport". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- Jano Gibson (11 February 2009). "Fast train to Canberra for second airport". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Saulwick, Jacob (2 March 2012). "Minister rejects Badgerys Creek for second airport". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- Saulwick, Jacob (3 March 2012). "Second airport proposal struggles to get off ground". SMH. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Michaela Whitbourn, Michaela (2 March 2012). "Sydney needs second airport: govt report". Financial Review. AAP. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "No airport cap or curfew change: Albanese". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- p321 of report
- Clennell, Andrew (22 February 2013). "The west is backing a second airport for Sydney". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- Ramsey, Alan (30 July 2003). "Airport drone a chronic case of terminal lethargy". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- James, Matthew (10 July 2012). "Second Sydney Airport: a decade of deferral 2002–2012". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Crean, Simon (27 July 2003). "No airport at Badgerys Creek under Labor". Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Second Sydney Airport — A Chronology (prior to 2002) Parliamentary Library
- Second Sydney Airport: a decade of deferral 2002–2012 (up to May) Parliamentary Library