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Abbott commits to a second Sydney airport decision

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 12, 2013

Sydney Airport argues there is no need for a second Sydney airport..

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has committed to making a decision on proceeding with a second Sydney Airport within his first term of government, should his Liberal-National Coalition win next month’s federal election.

Daily Telegraph chief political reporter Simon Benson asked Abbott about the Coalition’s views on a second Sydney airport during Sunday evening’s leaders’ debate between Abbott and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

“I accept that we do need to do something about airport capacity serving Sydney. I absolutely accept that. We cannot go on for another decade the way we have over the last six years and we’ve had a government which has not advanced us one inch, one yard over the last six years on this. Just a few weeks ago the Infrastructure Minister said that a decision would be made in the next term. Well, I will make a decision on this in a term of government, should I get it.”

The Prime Minister was less committal.

“On Sydney Airport, there’s a massive debate about where any second airport should be. I’m from Queensland, I’m not from Sydney. I hear contending arguments in terms of where or if such a new airport should be located. This lies with the Infrastructure Minister. I’m sure recommendations will come forward at the right time and that appropriate decisions will be made on when the existing site at Kingsford Smith reaches its capacity.”


The questioning came after the Daily Telegraph last week reported on the formation of the Western Sydney Airport Alliance, which has grouped together business, union and community groups to advocate for the construction of a second Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

“Start digging. We face significant challenges in employment, there are 200,000 people travelling outside the region every day to work,” Sydney Chamber of Commerce Western Sydney president David Borger told the newspaper.

“We have an alliance of business, unions and the community sector calling on all parties to adopt a position of supporting an airport at Badgerys Creek. It would be a game changer.”

Late last month Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese had said he was “absolutely determined” to see the start of construction of a second Sydney Airport within three years should the Labor government be re-elected. That pledge was soon dismissed by Sydney Airport chairman Max Moore-Wilton.

“”There is not one recognised business person who has experience in infrastructure that supports the waste of scarce infrastructure capital to build a second Sydney airport within the time frames that Mr Albanese announced,” Moore-Wilton was quoted by Fairfax Media as saying.

”I don’t know how many studies have to be undertaken to show there is no immediate need for a second Sydney airport.”

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Comments (15)

  • Ross


    Irrelevant of who wins the election, the federal government doesnt really have the money to spend on a brand new major airport.
    The most likely interim scenario is a domestic operation being set up and built at Richmond.

  • DB


    Come on, there have been multiple studies on this for over 25 years now. Wilton is a farce, SYD will not have adequate capacity within the foreseeable future. It’s time to get the bulldozers rolling at Badgerys Creek. Do we want a problem like there is now with BNE – what is the real cost of the delayed second runway there (holding patterns, missed connections …) – get on with it and the economic benefits will flow. Max has his own agenda and unless there is a curfew change SYD will run out of capacity (even with curfew changes, peak traffic will be limited). Stop talking and wasting money on reports!

  • Dee


    Agree with DB on Badgerys Creek, I just hope if Abbott wins he does go ahead A.S.A.P. with the earthworks, not another study, which since Bob Hawks days, keeps a few overpaid P/S people and outsiders employed.
    As to Richmond, to many fogs, to many people, not designed for International heavy metal ( possibly should add heavy composites) all in all, it can only ever be a stop-gap for government hesitancy.

  • Frequent Flyer


    I sat in a press conference where newly elected Prime MInsiter, Bob Hawke, announced that work would start on a second Sydney Airport and it would be completed in 10-years…..Sorry Bob, but I seemed to have missed my invitation to the big opening day sometime back in 1994.

  • Blind Monkey


    This was one question both should have been able to give a short, clear, unequivocal yes to . So what did they do? Ducked for cover!

  • Rick


    Not sure why another airport so far away from Cbd is a good idea. I mean 51 Kms to get to Sydney seems absurd. I know that I would only book on flights direct to mascot. Same as I would not book flights to Avalon. International travellers want direct, not round about sort of near sydney. Come on guys get real.

  • John Harrison


    Ah the old Sydney 2nd airport has risen its head (ugly) again. Badgerys Creek was going to be build when I lived in Sydney and I was working at Mascot. I lived in Seven Hills and thought oh great nice easy journey to work at
    new airport. I’ve been living in Perth for 22 years and now retired from airline work. And still it goes on, I will be pushing up flowers, and they will still be talking about Sydney’s 2nd airport. I think its up there with the Very Fast Train !! It keeps pollies in jobs I fear.

  • NJP


    Expand SYD airport into Pt Botany, move Cargo ships to old oil refinery site which is closing anyway. Build sound proofed low cost welfare housing under the flight path and redevelop all welfare housing into new apartments & residential developments.
    Therefore killing three birds with one stone – 1.sorting the housing crisis
    2.dealing with SYD expansion
    3. Ensuring jobs for ex-refinery staff & builders for years to come.
    The government will also be quids-in on the profits from Sydney’s over-priced housing demands.

  • Blue Mountains Flyer


    I,d be very interested in what the “Airspace” would look like if BC goes ahead.
    As a recreational flyer whom transits regularly from Bathurst down to Parramatta and then up the VFR Lane through to Hornsby and north, I,m worried that BC CTA will just link up with the Richmond Restricted Area and close the entire western Sydney basin to most VFR Rec pilots. 🙁

  • James from Sydney


    LOL@NJP I hope you were kidding about low cost welfare housing.

  • Pilot 123


    Forget Baggerys Creek !

    Forget Richmond !

    Try Newcastle / Williamtown as some of the infrastructure is already in place and to add to it would not be a financial burden to either Government.

  • John N


    Regardless of who gets elected, I’m certainly not going to hold my breath as to when the ‘actual’ construction will start, this play still has many act to go before that ever happens.

    For those old enough to remember, Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Railway project was first proposed by Dr Bradfield back in 1916, work started in 1926, stopped, planning started again in 1947, work suspended in 1952 again, on, off, and on again, finally opened in 1979, and yet it still didn’t go anywhere near as far as it was supposed to! The saga of Sydney’s second airport is a mere pup compared to that fiasco!

    Sadly we just don’t do infrastructure very well in this City or the Country as a whole either!

    KSA is certainly very handy for me living in the Inner West, but if I was one of the many millions of people living in Western, North West and South Western Sydney having a new International / Domestic airport in much closer proximity to me would be a great bonus, the savings in travel time would be enormous.

    If the second airport was built at Badgerys Creek (with the appropriate road and rail infrastructure too), not only would it be good for the economy of that large part of Sydney, it would also take pressure of the already clogged road and transport systems of Sydney, the many 1000’s of people of Western Sydney that have had to go (to and from) KSA for travel each day don’t have to anymore, I would also imagine that the majority of air cargo that comes and goes from KSA would usually start or end its journey from warehouses in Western Sydney too, again taking trucks and vehicles off the roads.

    Having the option and benefits of two airports, KSA and Badgerys, at either end of the Sydney metro basin is what this city needs.

    Anyway, as I said at the beginning, not going to hold my breath.


    John N

  • Brendan


    Rick, I’m not sure if you know it, but Rick is not the centre of the earth, lots of people traveling by aircraft don’t require to end up in the CBD of Sydney. People need to go to penrith, western Sydney, etc. the thing is, mascot is getting too busy and needs to lighten the load, bring on a second airport, just like a second runway for Brisbane, by the way, who is prepared to pay for something they wont get for ten years? Im not, BAC. Sort your stuff, you rake in massive profits, pay for the infrastacture.

  • peter


    if this airport happens then where are we going to put it?
    if you place it near Badgerys creek, there will be major disruptions if not shut downs of Camden aerodrome and the training area will either be moved or completely abolished…military operations at the RAAF base in Richmond will be heavily affected….Sydney airport isn’t even running at full capacity…it has 1 major runways for extra large jets, and two smaller runways for smaller jets such as the 737.

    all we have to do is to either extend one of the smaller runways or build a new runway…it will increase the capacity of the airport and will not cause disruptions to the military OPS and pilot training OPS in the Camden – Richmond area…whoever is elected must make the right decision or face the loss of training of pilots in Sydney

    and forget about Bankstown…not many good pilots or schools there plus the parallel runways are a pain to deal with for a student pilot.

  • Rodney Marinkovic


    Dear Mr Prime minister Rude, you say you are from Queensland, That is nice, but as Australian leader, all ways must to be from Sydney, Melbourne and any place of this land of Australia. So Sydney must be same important as your place of birth. Must know how important second airport to Sydney, state and country. All most 30 years
    since Mr Bob Houck days, rolling round big story. Should not postponing any more. Most important project to
    developing and to very soon in maybe next 20 months to start construction. Needless to say limitation and restriction at Kingsford Smith airport. New airport will not competing KSA, but will operating not restricted 24 hrs.
    a day, round the year and opening for no limit in cargo, passengers, air traffic. Melbourne, Brisbane…, have not
    limit in air traffic as Sydney have. No world affortunatlly or sorry… Construction of new Sydney Airport no more
    delay!. Sorry for my English, but I, and hundred of thousand of people sorry for delaying new airport so many decades. Prime Minister, please to be brave. You can serving you people more, longer.
    Rodney Marinkovic, AME (ret.) Griffith, NSW.

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