The construction of Western Sydney International’s passenger terminal will begin at the end of next year after the winning contractor is picked in mid-2021.
The forthcoming airport confirmed the start date on Tuesday and also revealed the project is still on course to welcome up to 10 million passengers in 2026. It’s hoped more than 80 million people will travel through each year in the 2060s.
The news comes three months after the airport confirmed construction of a new rail link to St Marys station will begin soon, and a $2.6 billion industrial precinct will open next year.
The terminal precinct will include a public plaza, shops and restaurants and will be connected to the new M12 Motorway.
It will be designed and built by either Lendlease CPB Joint Venture, Multiplex Constructions or Watpac Construction, but already four new photo-realistic images have been released showing what it will look like upon completion.
Western Sydney Airport chief executive Simon Hickey said, “The advantage of designing a new airport from the ground up is taking a fresh, new approach, learning from the global experiences of airports, passengers and airlines.
“As well as looking at what makes the world’s best airports work so well, we gained insights from our airline MOU partners that helped us design a terminal that will make catching a plane fast and easy.”
Hickey added that he believed demand for air travel will recover “well before” the airport opens and has been designed for “decades to come”.
In June, Australian Aviation reported that an $11 billion rail link, named the ‘Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport’ line, will be six kilometres longer than initially envisaged and involve putting part of St Marys underground.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison then hailed the influence of the new national cabinet in speeding up the decision.
“This is how Australia makes it way back out of the COVID-19 crisis, infrastructure projects like this one,” he said.
Since initial earthworks marked the start of work to build Western Sydney International in September 2018, around 1 million worker hours have been racked up on the project and 1.8 million cubic metres of earth moved around the site.
Initial earthworks also involved realigning 1.6 kilometres of Badgerys Creek Road, which will become one of the gateways to the airport when it opens in 2026.
“On other projects these achievements would be showstoppers, but for Western Sydney International initial earthworks was just the beginning, covering only 6 per cent of the 1,780-hectare site,” said the airport’s head of infrastructure, Jim Tragotsalos.