Sydney Airport will enter a nine-month formal consultation period with the federal government from September on the question of a new airport at Badgerys Creek.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss says the federal government has issued Sydney Airport with a Notice to Consult, which allows the two parties to enter formal discussions on the development and operation of the proposed Badgerys Creek airport.
“We now have a clear timeframe for consultation, decision and action,” Truss said in a statement on Monday.
The consultation period begins on September 30 2014, Sydney Airport said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday.
When the Commonwealth sold Sydney Airport in 2002 it included a 30-year first right of refusal to build and operate any airport built within 100km of the existing terminals at Mascot.
Sydney Airport said the first right of refusal had a number of phases, including a consultative phase and a subsequent contractual phase.
“These are expected to take up to two years to complete,” Sydney Airport said.
The federal government hoped the airport at Badgerys Creek would be operational by the mid-2020s, with construction anticipated to begin sometime in 2016.
Prior to the official Notice to Consult being issued, the government and the airport has been in informal talks over over the size and layout of the proposed airport.
Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said the airport would work constructively with the government during the formal consultation period.
“The work program will focus on detailed examination of the business case including, but not limited to, passenger forecasting, demographics, airport design and operation, planning and commercial development, environmental analysis, and funding and financial modelling,” Mather said in a statement.
This formal consultation period was the first phase under the right of first refusal provisions.
“Following the consultation, the Government may decide to make a contractual offer to the Sydney Airport Group,” the minister’s statement said.
“The contractual offer would involve issuing a Notice of Intention to the Sydney Airport Group, setting out the detailed terms for the development and operation of an airport at Badgerys Creek, including technical specifications, contractual terms and timetable.”