A new east-west runway will be included in Melbourne Airport’s masterplan when it is submitted to the federal government next year.
Announcing the plan, Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said the 3000-metre A380-capable runway is needed to accommodate the expected increase in traffic by 2018/20. The airport’s passenger throughput is projected to reach 40 million by 2020 and 60 million by 2033. Passenger traffic is increasing at rates between six and eight per cent.
The east-west configuration of the runway was selected on community and environmental grounds as much as it was on operational considerations.
Woodruff said: “A new east-west runway will enable Melbourne Airport to handle more aircraft movements, more efficiently. Passengers will spend less time on the ground taxiing to and from terminals, and aircraft will burn less fuel on more direct flight paths and shorter trips from the gate to the runway.
“We expect there will only be a slight variation to the noise contours which are used for planning purposes compared to the current contours. However, there will be some areas within the existing noise contours that will experience more aircraft flying overhead as a result of the construction of a new runway,” Woodruff added.
The cost of the project is estimated to be $500 million with a construction period of between two and four years.