Enormous ‘B-double’ trucks will deliver fuel to the new Western Sydney Airport for years after its opening because work on a pipeline is yet to begin.
The NSW government admitted it’s still only “currently investigating” the potential for a pipeline to launch in the “early 2030s” – despite the terminal opening in 2026.
Campbelltown Labor MP Greg Warren said, “When the operation reaches full capacity, the airport could potentially require 50 to 65 B-double fuel tanker deliveries per day, which would add to congestion on Sydney’s urban road network.
“Transport for NSW identified that the absence of a fuel pipeline will potentially compromise motorist safety, increase congestion and cause delays to freight corridors…The entire debacle is simply absurd.”
The long-term ambition of Western Sydney is to handle 82 million passengers annually, significantly more than Sydney, with its final site also said to be more than double the size, too.
The ‘original’ Sydney Airport, though, already has 11km of underground piping supplying the 1500 aircraft that must be re-fuel daily.
“Transport for NSW is currently investigating the potential for the establishment of a fuel pipeline to Western Sydney and Western Sydney Airport,” said Transport for NSW. “The pipeline is expected to be feasible in the early 2030s as demand increases.”
It comes as the new airport’s runway started construction earlier this year and its terminal in November 2021.
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.
Its modern terminal, meanwhile, will feature “high-performance glass” and a “climate-responsive façde” to keep the building cool and reduce energy consumption.
Chief executive Simon Hickey said earlier this year, “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.”
While remaining fairly consistent with the initial concept designs released more than two years ago, the final terminal design has been compiled to best represent and accommodate the unique regional identity of Western Sydney, according to the airport’s owners.
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.
He said every aspect of the airport’s final design had been tailored to be among the world’s greatest, and the layout makes it easy to navigate for a “stress-free airport experience”.
“Flying from Western Sydney International will be fast, easy and seamless,” he added. “For airlines, our terminal will be all about operational efficiency and reliability, providing an environment where passengers arrive at the aircraft feeling relaxed and ready to fly.”