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Western Sydney Airport still without funding for bus link

written by Adam Thorn | October 5, 2022

Western Sydney Airport could open without crucial bus links because state and federal governments have yet to provide the $1.6 billion of funding required.

The money is needed to pay for 100 new double-decker buses and create routes linking Liverpool, Penrith, and Campbelltown to the terminal.

The new airport will open in stages from 2026 but has a long-term ambition to handle 82 million passengers annually — significantly more than Sydney Airport.

The Sydney Morning Herald obtained emails between senior officials at the state’s transport agency that revealed there is “no federal funding” for the project as well as no investment decision by the NSW government.


It comes alongside the newspaper obtaining a separate confidential report that argued both the rail and bus link would be required to avoid roads becoming congested.

The state’s Transport Minister, David Elliot, said he had requested a meeting with his federal equivalent, Catherine King, to discuss the funding shortfall. However, King said in response it was a matter for the state government.

Transport for NSW reiterated its metro rail line would open alongside the terminal and repeated its commitment to providing “supporting infrastructure”.

It comes after Australian Aviation reported last month that enormous ‘B-double’ trucks would deliver fuel to the 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”.

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 ‘original’ Sydney Airport, though, already has 11km of underground piping supplying the 1500 aircraft that must be refuelled daily.

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.

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Comment (1)

  • When will this publication stop living off politically driven press releases? It is some 4+ years before Western Sydney opens to passenger traffic so why would anyone who is a realist expect that funding would be in place to buy 100 double decker buses. Even if they were to be late I am sure we can find 100 coaches to operate as the airport grows. As for the tankerts to deliver fuel it was decades before the pipeline from Clyde to Kingsford Smith was laid and this was very much driven by TWU Union excesses on numbers of trips per shift. good job if you could get it at night doing 2 trips Clyde to KSA then go home.
    If it looks good and worthwhile bet it will be criticised in this publication.

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