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Construction begins on Western Sydney’s runway

written by Hannah Dowling | March 28, 2022

The runway at Sydney’s newest airport, Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, is officially under construction ahead of its planned 2026 opening.

The 3,700-metre runway is capable of handling the largest jets currently available, including the next-generation of ultra-long-haul aircraft such as the Airbus A350-1000 and the Boeing 777X.

“Not only are we building Australia’s best airport terminal – we’re building Australia’s best runway, delivering a travel experience that will be unrivalled in this country,” said Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey.

Accompanying the runway are what the airport has dubbed “rapid-exit taxiways”, which will reduce taxi and holding times, and reduce delays, according to Hickey.


“Our airfield’s design means we’ll safely get planes in the air or to the gates faster,” he said.

The runway also boasts a modern CAT III-B instrument landing system, which allows aircraft to land in adverse weather conditions, including thick fog.

“Western Sydney International will continue operating safely in foggy conditions that currently shut down Sydney’s skies,” Hickey said.

“Our airfield will be future-ready, designed for expansion with consideration for emerging technologies such as electric aircraft.”

Nancy-Bird Walton Airport will be the third Australian airport to house a CAT III-B landing system, after Melbourne and Perth.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was onsite at the airport to note the occasion.

“Driving down the runway that we’ve been waiting for, in this city, for 60 years, was a real thrill,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“Around half of the people here working on Western Sydney Airport are from Western Sydney, people in Western Sydney are building this airport,” he said.

“There are 1,200 jobs alone in just the construction of this runway, and that’s part of 11,000 jobs that are created by this massive project.”

It comes after construction of the passenger terminal at the new Western Sydney Nancy-Bird Walton Airport commenced in November.

Announcing the major milestone onsite at the airport, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the airport’s construction was then one-quarter complete.

“Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, work has continued to progress with nearly 22 million cubic metres of earth now moved to date across the site – which is about three times bigger than the Sydney CBD – and the airport on track to open in late 2026,” Fletcher said at the time.

“Today we announce another important milestone has been reached, with work now underway on the new state-of-the-art integrated passenger terminal, which will have the capacity to handle up to 10 million passengers a year once open.”

Fletcher stated that the airport is being built “from the ground up” to prioritise a smooth customer experience and will “be a state-of-the art piece of infrastructure” that is “an integral element of the surrounding aerotropolis and the broader Western Parkland city”.

In June, the airport unveiled its final working designs for the airport terminal and its surrounds, which will also boast gardens filled with local native plants and outdoor areas large enough to accommodate festivals.

Hickey said, “This will be Australia’s best airport terminal, unlike anything seen before in this country. It sets a new benchmark for what Australians will expect when they fly.”

Hickey said the designs, completed by Australian-founded company Multiplex, were largely inspired by the natural beauty of Australia and the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage, and had sustainability in mind as well.

Watch drone footage of the runway under construction here:

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Comments (2)

  • Rod Pickin


    Yes, it is great that construction is well underway, congratulations but only one runway? ( I am presuming that studies have been fully completed negating the need for cross runways too). Current indications show that express roads and a rail link to the precinct are yet to mature and what about a huge freight park with rail access? I presume that maintenance areas will be away at either Avalon or Brisbane for the big fellahs; we don’t get many opportunities like this so we must EXPAND our minds and do it right; it could well be that in 20 years time our population may well be 50 million people and from what I see here we will not cope.

  • Joseph King


    Why didn’t they give the construction job to the Wagners. They after all had Wellcamp up and running in 18 months costing $400 Million and this lot still have 4 years before finish assuming there aren’t any delays and how many Billions of $$$ before the cost over-runs? If it’s anything like the $30 Million purchase of that $3 Million block of land the eventual cost is going to be staggering.

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