The federal government has released the draft airport plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, paving the way for construction to begin in 2016.
The documents cover indicative flight paths, noise contours, the building requirements for stage one of the airport’s development and the long term vision for the facility.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss says the release of the airport plan and EIS marked the start of a 60-day public consultation period.
“The Australian Government is committed to a robust assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts to ensure the proposed airport can deliver the best outcomes for the Western Sydney community,” Truss said in a statement on Monday.
“The draft airport plan and the draft EIS have been released together today to ensure that all issues surrounding the airport development can be considered simultaneously.
“We are moving to a position where construction of the new airport could be underway next year, with the airport commencing operations in the mid-2020s.
“With Western Sydney’s population set to balloon from two million to three million people over the next two decades, a Western Sydney airport is about planning for that future.”
The federal government “declared” Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in the Sydney basin in August, which ensured further planning work on the airport could proceed and airspace around the proposed facility was protected from potential high-rise buildings.
Government maps and images for arrivals and departures on the initial single runway would be on a south-west, north-east orientation. Arrival flights will be directed to north west of the airport and be between 5,000-7,000 feet when over Penrith and 2,000ft near Bankstown when landing on Runway 23.
Meanwhile, departing aircraft on Runway 05 would be at about 5,000ft by the time they were over Blacktown and at 10,000ft by the time they were at RAAF Base Richmond if headed north, or at 10,000ft between Camden and Picton if heading south.
Sydney Airport, which has a right of first refusal (ROFR) to build and operate a second airport within 100km of the Sydney CBD, welcomed the release of the draft airport plan and EIS in a statement released to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday.
“The ROFR has a number of stages and since 30 September 2014 Sydney Airport has been engaged in formal and informal consultation with the Australian Government on the airport development and operation. The ROFR process is ongoing,” Sydney Airport said.
Public submissions are due by Friday, December 18. The full master plan can be found on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website Airport master plan.