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Construction begins on airport at Badgerys Creek

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 25, 2018
The federal government officially "declared" Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in Sydney in August 2015. (Jordan Chong)
The federal government officially “declared” Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in Sydney in August 2015. (Jordan Chong)

Construction on Sydney’s long-awaited second airport kicked off at Badgerys Creek in the city’s west on Monday with Prime Minister Scott Morrison surveying the scene before him and declaring “how good is this”.

The arrival of bulldozers for earthmoving works is the latest milestone in a project that is due to be completed by 2026.

Prime Minister Morrison said the Western Sydney Airport represented “the future of Sydney”.

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“This is the biggest game-changer I think for the city of Sydney since, you know, we built the Harbour Bridge,” Prime Minister Morrison told reporters at the ground breaking event on Monday.

“That’s how big a deal this is.”

The initial earthworks were to prepare the ground for the eventual runway and terminal construction.

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Currently, the difference between the highest and lowest points on the airport site was equivalent to a 12-storey building. Therefore, about 1.8 million cubic metres of earth will have to be moved. This work, to be done by about 180 workers, was expected to be finished by the end of calendar 2019.

Meanwhile, major earthworks due to begin in 2019 will shift about 22 million cubic metres of earth. Expressions of interest are open for the first of three major earthworks and airside civil works packages, which were expected to be awarded in mid-2019.

The Western Sydney Airport Plan shows Stage 1 of the airport would feature a terminal capable of handling up to 10 million domestic and international passengers a year, with a single 3,700m long by 60m wide runway on a 05/23 orientation.

It was due to open by 2026.

An artist's impression of the Western Sydney Airport terminal. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)
An artist’s impression of the Western Sydney Airport terminal. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)
A "Before" image of the Western Sydney Airport terminal area. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)
A “Before” image of the Western Sydney Airport terminal area. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)

The design of the facility would allow for a second parallel runway and expansion of the terminals to cater for 37 million passengers a year by 2050 and 82 million a year by about 2063.

The terminal design would feature swing gates capable of handling both domestic and international flights, which would increase the efficiency of transfers and increase the use of contact gates equipped with aerobridges.

Meanwhile, jet fuel supply was expected to be delivered by road tanker in a similar way to other airports operating on this scale, such as Canberra and Gold Coast.

And the Airport Plan said flightpaths had not been finalised, noting the draft flightpaths shown in the draft Airport Plan were a “conceptual model for aircraft arrivals”.

Work gets underway at Badgerys Creek. (Western Sydney Airport/Facebook)
Work gets underway at Badgerys Creek. (Western Sydney Airport/Facebook)

Beyond the airport itself, there is also a planned “aerotropolis” precinct bringing together firms across defence, aerospace, freight and logistics, agribusiness, pharmaceutical and biotech, among others, as well as education.

New Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge was alongside Prime Minister Morrison at the ground breaking event.

Minister Tudge, who replaced Paul Fletcher in this portfolio following the change of Prime Minister in late August, said the airport had spurred investment in the surrounding region for infrastructure such as new roads and rail links.

Further, he said about 11,000 jobs were expected to be created during the construction phase, with about 28,000 jobs to be created within five years of the airport’s opening.

“All levels of government are working together to deliver a modern and vibrant Western Parkland City, an employment-generating Aerotropolis, and congestion-busting road and rail infrastructure, all of which will enhance liveability for people in Western Sydney,” he said.

An artist's impression of the Western Sydney Airport site at Badgerys Creek. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)
An artist’s impression of the Western Sydney Airport site at Badgerys Creek. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)
The "before" image of the site of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)
The “before” image of the site of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. (Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities)

Western Sydney Business Chamber director David Borger said the airport was an important piece of infrastructure for the NSW economy.

“Today we see the real work begin on turning a cow paddock into a world-class airport that will support almost 28,000 direct and indirect jobs in Western Sydney by 2031 – five years after it opens,” Borger said in a statement.

“The Western Sydney Business Chamber has been a vocal supporter of the airport, bringing representatives of our communities together through the Western Sydney Airport Alliance to make the case for this game-changing piece of infrastructure.

“With industry already setting up within the aerotropolis and a new major university planning to base itself next door, nothing can stop the airport now, it is finally a reality,” Mr Borger said.


VIDEO: A promotional video from Western Sydney Airport’s YouTube channel.

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6 Comments

  • Steve T

    says:

    There’s a photo in AA magazine of the first sod being turned, under a big Badgerys Creek sign… in the 1990s! I think by the then minister… Can you dig that photo up I wonder (pun totally intended)?

  • John

    says:

    Who pays for Badgerys Creek airport? How is it funded?

    • leonard harding

      says:

      who,s the leading contractor of the constuction

  • JOHN the project is funded with borrowed money, this govt have calculated the costs and have finally got the ball rolling, a change to Labor next year with the unions taking over this project will see those costings double and we the taxpayer will be left paying off what will be the worlds most expensive airport.

    • Kat

      says:

      That turned out to be an outright lie – congratulates on promoting the Libspeak propaganda we so often see on social media! Probably blaming Labor for the bushfires as well – oh yeah they’re not in Govt nor have they been for 3 terms but the Libs managed to create a national debt 2019/20 of 630Bn. Where’s your lies sitting now!

  • Telaan

    says:

    The reason that successive governments have not started construction and made an airport (which would already exist by now) on the land is BECAUSE of the regulations on flying over Sydney and into Kingsford during the night time. If this issue was just solved and the government maybe invested into better technology to help soundproof windows or even make it that only noise reducing modern aircraft can fly in during sleep hours the whole CONCEPT of building a second airport would be extremely unnecessary. Even in an “Aerotropolis” situation the airspace will become more congested and any disruptions to either airport will cause stacks of planes to circle for possibly hours above homes.

    The government hasn’t even asked major airlines that fly through Sydney if they would be interested in slots for Badgery’s Creek!! The plans for connecting the two are simply far too poor to warrant the big risk of losing slots in the gateway airport of Sydney. If the government goes ahead with their cheap half baked plans for just building a smaller connection to local commuter trains passengers will certainly fly purposefully to Kingsford or just fly to another capital city and fly domestically to Kingsford.

    Major airlines are already losing money from the curfew because passengers connecting through their networks generally miss the flights to Sydney as they leave without a second thought if that means not missing the curfew of Sydney. What about all the lost business from the planes flying over offices in the morning and afternoon arr/dep?!

    The only reason the government won’t discuss the demand by airlines or passengers for flights from a second airport is because they want people to believe they’re creating jobs! In the end that’s the coalitions main policy and when the project falls flat and the only passengers will be cargo containers the government will run away and say it was bound to happen.

    Just. Change. The. Curfew. Regulations.

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