Australia’s airline industry and leading analysts have urged the federal government to develop a new airport for Sydney within the next 10 years or risk imperilling the economy.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) has reported airlines, infrastructure analysts and aviation experts have presented a compelling case to the federal government in November for it to abandon Wilton as the preferred site for a second airport in the Sydney basin and to revert to Badgerys Creek, itself abandoned in 2009 by the current government.
Each of the major Australian airlines supported by Regional Express, DHL, China Southern and leading aviation analysts have implored minister for infrastructure and transport Anthony Albanese to end decades of vacillation and commit to a decision. The participants in the discussions have demanded a new airport be operational within 10 years to avoid what they see as a looming collision with economic well-being if a decision is not made.
The AFR report prepared from minutes it obtained of the meeting between the federal government and industry leaders said: “Kingsford Smith is closer to capacity than Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) will publicly state”. In reply to the assertion, SACL reaffirmed its view that Sydney Airport could meet demand through to 2045.
But even though the federal government has opened its ears – at least diplomatically – to industry calls, the NSW state government remains resolute on there being no second airport in the Sydney basin at all.
The state government is said to be close to an announcement on the airport issue. While the state premier has rejected any airport development in the Sydney area, the NSW treasurer has floated plans for a development in the middle of Botany Bay as a way of easing capacity.