Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather says the company expects to receive the federal government’s offer to build and operate the proposed Badgerys Creek airport later in 2016.
Mather told shareholders at Sydney Airport’s annual general meeting on Friday it was still studying Badgerys Creek’s prospects as it waited for the government to hand over the Notice of Intention (NOI) or sales contract for the proposed airport.
“We are expecting to receive a Notice of Intention this year, bearing in mind there is also a federal election six weeks from now,” Mather said in prepared remarks.
“The Notice of Intention will set out the material terms for the development and operation of the airport, and once received we will have four or nine months to consider the proposal.
“We continue to evaluate the opportunity using our rigorous investment criteria and disciplined approach, while understanding the impact on our existing airport and our investors.”
When the Commonwealth sold Sydney Airport in 2002 it included a 30-year first right of refusal to build and operate any airport within 100km of the existing terminals at Mascot.
In the 2016/17 federal budget handed down in May, the government allocated $26 million over the next two years to study design options for a train station and rail links at the proposed airport, as well as $89 million for “critical preparatory activities” at the Badgerys Creek site.
“The funding will be used to provide specialist advice on planning and development of the project, ongoing management and security of the site, minor land acquisitions and design work for the provision of utilities,” the budget papers said.
“The concept design for the provision of rail services to the site will be prepared with assistance from Transport for New South Wales and will recommend and preparatory works to ensure the WSA side is rail ready.”
The government released the draft airport plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek in October 2015.
The documents covered indicative flightpaths, noise contours, the building requirements for stage one of the airport’s development and the long-term vision for the facility. The 60-day public consultation period ended on December 18 2015.
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said on its website it was currently reviewing the 5,000 public submissions on the draft airport plan and EIS.
“The Airport Plan and EIS are expected to be finalised by mid-2016,” the Department’s website said.
Recently, the Federal Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government Paul Fletcher said the government has asked for the proposed flightpaths over Badgerys Creek to be redrawn to eliminate a “point merge” between 5,000-7,000 feet over the Blue Mountains community of Blaxland just west of Penrith.
Instead, flightpaths will be spread out as part of a comprehensive noise mitigation plan to be contained in the final EIS.