Western Sydney Airport

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Western Sydney (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport
Western Sydney (Badgerys Creek) Airport - Land Boundary.gif
Outline of airport site in blue
(land acquired by the Federal Government)
Western Sydney Airport - artist's render.png
Artist's impression of the completed airport in 2050
Summary
Airport typePublic
ServesWestern Sydney
LocationBadgerys Creek, New South Wales, Australia
Hub for
Elevation AMSL262 ft / 80 m
Coordinates33°52′46″S 150°44′23″E / 33.87944°S 150.73972°E / -33.87944; 150.73972Coordinates: 33°52′46″S 150°44′23″E / 33.87944°S 150.73972°E / -33.87944; 150.73972
Map
Western Sydney (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport is located in Sydney
Western Sydney (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport
Western Sydney (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05 / 23 (under construction) 3,700 12,139 Asphalt

Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport,[1] locally Badgerys Creek Airport, or simply Western Sydney Airport, will become Sydney's second airport, located within the suburb of Badgerys Creek. The airport is planned to have 24-hour and curfew-free operations, in contrast to the existing Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, which has reached capacity due to a legislated curfew and flight caps. The first stage of construction on the new airport began on 24 September 2018, and the first stage is expected to be complete and open by December 2026.[2] The site was officially designated by the Federal Government on 15 April 2014, after decades of debate on the location of another airport within Greater Sydney.[3][4][5][6][7]

History[edit]

Operating since 1919, Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport is one of the world's oldest airports. Located only 8 km from the city center, the airport site is now hemmed in on three sides by urban growth and on the fourth side by Botany Bay. There have thus been various proposals to build a second airport for Sydney since the 1960s.

The Federal Government announced in February 1986 that Badgerys Creek had been chosen as the location for a second major airport for Sydney.[8] The Federal Government then undertook a series of land acquisitions for the site, primarily during the period 1986 to 1991, spending approximately A$170 million.[8] The resulting site totalled 1,780 hectares (4,400 acres).[9]

However, following the purchase, the decision was made by the Government that construction of a third runway at Sydney Airport was more appropriate, and all work on the site was halted.[10] The runway, built on reclaimed land, was opened in 1994.

Despite the expansion, concerns remained that Kingsford Smith Airport would run out of capacity by 2030, especially since the introduction of strict night flying restrictions in 1995. Planning for a second airport thus began again in earnest in 2008. A 3,200-page joined Federal/NSW study released in 2012 concluded that Badgerys Creek was "clearly the best site for a much-needed second airport for Sydney",[11] and recommended that planning should start. On 15 April 2014, the Federal Government announced that Badgerys Creek will be the site of the Second Sydney Airport.[3] In September 2018, construction works began at the Badgerys Creek Airport site.[12]

On 10 December 2020, a light aircraft made an emergency landing on earthworks at the construction site, making it the airport's first ever arrival.[13]

Geography[edit]

The airport's location is situated 44 kilometres (27 mi) west of the Sydney CBD and 41 km (25 mi) west of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. The site lies 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of the City of Penrith CBD and approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the City of Campbelltown CBD. The Township of Luddenham is located adjacent to the airport, 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the runway. It is also located within 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, sparking serious concerns about declared wilderness, wild rivers, amenity, World Heritage status and the City of the Blue Mountains economy.[4][5][7] The site is within the City of Liverpool local government area and consists of approximately 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of Commonwealth land that was acquired between 1986 and 1991.[14]

Legislation[edit]

The Airports Act 1996 (Cth) s 6 enables the development and use of an airport, known as Sydney West Airport.[15] The Airport Plan released by the Commonwealth Government in December 2016 notes that the airport is referred to in the Act as Sydney West Airport is commonly known as Western Sydney Airport,[16] and is officially known as Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport; named in honour of Nancy Bird Walton, the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot's licence.

Economy[edit]

The Federal Government claimed the initial construction phase is expected to generate around 4,000 jobs, the airport development is expected to create 35,000 jobs by 2035, increasing to 60,000 jobs over time.[3] Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed that the airport would "create 11,000 jobs during construction" and "28,000 within its first 5 years".[17] However, such claims were contradicted by the 2017 labour market analysis commissioned by the Government.[18] The analysis states that the airport is predicted to directly support 3,231 jobs during construction over eight years, 13,169 from the airport combined with a business park during the first five years of operation, and 24,046 from the combined airport and business park over the following ten years (2031–2041).[18]

Flight paths[edit]

On 19 October 2015, the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was released by the Abbott Government.[19] This Statement outlined the proposed flight paths for Western Sydney Airport from initial opening in mid 2020s to 2050 for future flight paths for an international expansion.[20] The draft EIS showed incoming flights merging approximately 1,500 metres (4,921 ft)[21] over the Blue Mountains town of Blaxland which already lies at an altitude of 234 metres (768 ft).[22] Unlike Sydney airport, no 'flight sharing' was proposed to reduce noise impacts on individual suburbs. Instead, flight paths followed a single loop turning either south west or continuing south east after the Blaxland merge point, then either north east or south west towards Badgerys Creek.[23] The height started at 1,266 metres (4,154 ft) above ground level over Blaxland, with the south west path descending over the World Heritage-listed national park, declared wilderness, declared wild rivers, and Warragamba Dam, until reaching 457 metres (1,499 ft), over the township of Warragamba and descending towards the airport over Wallacia, Greendale, Silverdale and Luddenham before landing. The south east path descended over Glenbrook, Lapstone, Emu Plains, Penrith, and St Marys, reaching 457 metres (1,499 ft) over Erskine Park then 381 metres (1,250 ft) over the Twin Creeks and Sydney 'Science' Park housing estates prior to landing. Assessment of noise impacts were based solely on these flight paths.[24]

After an extensive community backlash[citation needed] and as a measure to retain her seat of Macquarie, Liberal Louise Markus[25] and the Coalition government announced a scrapping of the Blaxland merge point.[26] The final EIS, released on 15 September 2016, revealed that the flight paths, although remaining the same, were marked as 'indicative only'. A consistent message portrayed to the public since then is that the flight paths are unknown, will not be released, noise impacts will not be assessed nor community consultation undertaken until after construction of the airport.[27][28] Markus lost her seat at that election, with a swing against her of 9.2 per cent,[29] the first time that Macquarie had not been a 'bellwether' seat.

Initial development[edit]

The airport will be built in phases, with the initial construction phase building a smaller airport with a single runway. The cost of the initial development was estimated at A$2.4 billion (as at 2012) and would generate 4,000 jobs. The government plans the initial phase would be complete and operational by 2025.[30] Sydney Airport Corporation, the operator of Kingsford Smith Airport, was given the right of first refusal to build and operate any second airport in an agreement reached with the Government when Kingsford Smith Airport was sold in 2002.[31] Sydney Airport declined the offer to build and operate the airport on 2 May 2017.[32]

The initial phase, with only one runway, is believed[by whom?] to be favourable for budget airlines (such as Jetstar) and airlines offering point-to-point travel. The airport will not have a night-time curfew, unlike Kingsford Smith Airport.[31]

Ground transport[edit]

Road connections[edit]

With the designation of site as the location of Sydney's Second Airport, announcements were made on new and upgraded transport links to the airport and surrounding areas of western Sydney. Known as the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, it included:[33]

Rail connections[edit]

In April 2014, the Commonwealth Government said it had no plans to build a rail line. However, it indicated provision for a railway line would be included in the development, that may include preparing tunnels under the runway as part of the runway construction and preparing the underground space for a station. It was considered likely the rail connection to the airport would consist of an extension to the South West Rail Link from Leppington.[34] In October 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull indicated that the airport would need both road and rail links to the Sydney CBD.[35] In November 2015 a scoping study into rail investment to service Western Sydney and the Western Sydney Airport was announced. The study was jointly managed by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.[36] A discussion paper, released in September 2016, proposed various options that could provide a rail link to the airport:[37]

Option Mode
Extension of the South West Rail Link from Leppington Suburban rail
Line to the Sydney Metro Northwest at Rouse Hill Likely to be metro
Extension of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from Bankstown via Liverpool Metro
Line to the Main Western railway line at St Marys Suburban rail
New express line to the Sydney CBD via Parramatta Metro
Line between Macarthur and Schofields via WSA and St Marys Likely to be metro

The final report, released in March 2018, proposed that two lines would ultimately service the airport: a "North-South Link" from Schofields to Macarthur and an "East-West Link" from Parramatta to the "Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis" – an area south of the airport. The East-West Link would likely form an extension of the already-announced Sydney Metro West. An extension of the South West Rail Link to the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis was also proposed; interchanging with the North-South Link or East-West Link would be required to access the airport itself.[38]

At the same time, the State and Federal governments announced the development of a new rail line serving the airport. This line would form part of the North-South Link, running south from St Marys to the airport, before continuing on to the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis. Funding for the line will be equally split between the State and Federal governments.[39] The report suggested that "a metro or light metro style of train would suit the North-South Link".[38] The line, now known as Western Sydney Airport line, is scheduled to open by the time the airport opens in 2026.[40]

Bus connections[edit]

New express bus routes to the airport precinct were announced in March 2018, running from Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown.[39]

Controversy[edit]

Leppington Triangle corruption investigation[edit]

On 31 July 2018 the Commonwealth Government purchased a 12.26-hectare (30.3-acre) triangular parcel of land in Bringelly, adjacent to the site of the airport. The A$29.8 million land purchase was for a portion of a second runway, expected to be needed after 2050. Eleven months after the purchase, the parcel of land was valued at just $3.1 million, triggering an investigation by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). For the purposes of realigning The Northern Road, the NSW Government acquired an adjacent 1.363-hectare (3.37-acre) portion of the Leppington Triangle for A$149,000; a land value 22 times less per hectare than that paid by the Commonwealth Government for its portion.[41] The ANAO found serious shortcomings in the Commonwealth's acquisition processes, including that:[9]

  • the government did not exercise appropriate due diligence in its acquisition, and fell short of ethical standards
  • an appropriate acquisition strategy was not developed
  • the approach taken to valuing the land was inappropriate
  • decision-makers were not appropriately advised on the land acquisition
  • the incomplete advice provided to decision-makers, and the inadequate response when questions were raised by the ANAO, was inconsistent with effective and ethical stewardship of public resources.

Subsequent to this, the Australian Federal Police announced that they were investigating potential corruption related to the land deal.[42]

Timeline[edit]

Development milestones[edit]

Date Milestone Notes
15 April 2014 Federal Government designated Badgerys Creek as the site for the Second Sydney Airport. Commencement of planning for the site [3]
18 August 2014 Federal Government formally issues a 'Notice to Consult' to the Sydney Airport Group, to enable formal discussion on development and 'Right of First Refusal' to develop and operate it [43]
20 January 2015 Construction begins on upgrading Bringelly Road. This is the first major upgrade to one of the three roads servicing the airport [44]
Geotechnical investigations, to profile the subsoil and rock, begin on the airport site [45]
June 2015 Residents vacate government land reserved for airport [46]
19 October 2015 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is released for public exhibition to enable community consultation [19]
16 September 2016 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is released [27]
18 December 2015 Public exhibition and submission period for the draft EIS closes [19]
Early 2016 Construction starts on upgrading roads surrounding the airport site
15 September 2016 Final EIS released [19]
2 May 2017 Sydney Airport declines offer to run second airport at Badgerys Creek [32]
9 May 2017 As part of the Federal Budget 2017, the Federal Government committed up to A$5.3 billion over 10 years to build the Western Sydney Airport through a new company, WSA Co [47]
24 September 2018 Construction of Stage 1 officially began at the airport site [12]
4 March 2019 Western Sydney International Airport named Nancy Bird Walton Airport [48]

Construction timeline[edit]

Date Milestone Notes
30 June 2018 After being shortlisted in April, Bechtel was awarded the delivery partner contract by Western Sydney Airport Co. [49]
December 2026 Stage 1 expected to be completed [2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Naming Tribute To Aviation Pioneer". Western Sydney Airport. WSACo. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Truss, Warren; Abbott, Tony. "Western Sydney Airport to Deliver Jobs and Infrastructure". Ministry for Inreastructure and Regional Development (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "No Badgerys Creek Airport - Blue Mountains Conservation Society". www.bluemountains.org.au. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Grose". www.colongwilderness.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  6. ^ "WHY NOT AN AIRPORT AT BADGERYS CREEK". www.nobca.org.au. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Clear Blue Sky". www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  8. ^ a b Ramsey, Alan (30 July 2003). "Airport drone a chronic case of terminal lethargy". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Purchase of the 'Leppington Triangle' Land for the Future Development of Western Sydney Airport". Australian National Audit Office. 21 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  10. ^ Williams, Paula; Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group (29 June 1998). "Second Sydney Airport - A Chronology". Background Paper 20 1997-98. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  11. ^ http://westernsydneyairport.gov.au/sydney_av_cap/files/sydney_aviation_capacity.pdf
  12. ^ a b "Scott Morrison to turn first 'sod' for Sydney's second airport". 9NEWS. Nine Digital. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Forced landing at western Sydney Airport construction site". 9NEWS. Nine Digital. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Fact sheet: Why was Badgerys Creek chosen?". Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Airports Act 1996 No. 42, 1996 Compilation No. 31 (C2016C00709) In force - Superseded Version". Federal Register of Legislation. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Western Sydney Airport Plan" (PDF). Western Sydney Airport. Australian Government.[dead link]
  17. ^ Morrison, Scott. "Breaking Ground on Western Sydney Airport". Prime Minister of Australia (Press release). Archived from the original on 27 February 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  18. ^ a b "WSA Labour Market Analysis" (PDF). Western Sydney Airport. Australian Government.
  19. ^ a b c d "The Western Sydney Airport Draft Environmental Impact Statement 2015". Western Sydney Airport. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Draft Environmental Impact Statement". Western Sydney Airport. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015.[dead link]
  21. ^ Paterson, Ian (22 October 2015). "Penrith and Blue Mountains avoid Western Sydney Airport plane noise but still under flight path". Penrith Press. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  22. ^ "Blaxland". Visitor information: Local towns. BlueMountainsAustralia.com. n.d. Archived from the original on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Environmental assessment". Western Sydney Airport. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  24. ^ Department of Infrastructure and Transport. "Environmental assessment". Western Sydney Airport. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  25. ^ Vickery, Kara (4 July 2016). "What went wrong for the Coalition in Bass, Bowman, Braddon, Lindsay, Eden-Monaro ... and the other seats they lost". news.com.au. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  26. ^ "Silence on airport noise plans". The Australian.
  27. ^ a b Department of Infrastructure and Transport. "Environmental assessment". Western Sydney Airport. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  28. ^ http://westernsydneyairport.gov.au/resources/eis/files/WSA-EIS-Volume-2a-Stage-1-Development.pdf Archived 23 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine[dead link]
  29. ^ "Macquarie – Australia 2019". The Tally Room. 21 April 2018. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Fact sheet: Building an airport at Badgerys Creek". Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Commonwealth of Australia. n.d. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  31. ^ a b O'Sullivan, Matt (16 April 2014). "Sydney Airport looks west". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  32. ^ a b "Sydney Airport declines offer to run second airport at Badgerys Creek". ABC News. Australia. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Delivering the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan". Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Australian Government. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  34. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (16 April 2014). "Federal government plans for airport rail line but will not build it". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  35. ^ "Malcolm Turnbull says Badgerys Creek airport in Sydney 'will need rail links'". The Guardian. Australian Associated Press. 16 October 2015. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Western Sydney Airport". Transport for NSW. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  37. ^ "Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study: Chapter 6 – The options" (PDF). Transport for NSW. September 2016.
  38. ^ a b "Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study Outcomes Report". Australian Government and New South Wales Government. March 2018. pp. 7–11, 54–58. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  39. ^ a b "Western Sydney City Deal to deliver rail, investment and jobs". Transport for NSW. 4 March 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  40. ^ "Western Sydney City Deal – Connectivity". Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Australian Gvoernment. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  41. ^ Karp, Paul (21 September 2020). "Government paid 10 times too much for land at Western Sydney airport to be used after 2050". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  42. ^ https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/police-examine-potential-corruption-of-public-officials-in-33m-land-deal-20201020-p566rk.html
  43. ^ Truss, Warren (18 August 2014). "Western Sydney airport: Notice to Consult issued today". Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development (Press release). Australian Government. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  44. ^ Abbott, Tony (20 January 2015). "Construction starts on first Western Sydney Airport road". Prime Minister of Australia (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  45. ^ Truss, Warren (20 January 2015). "Geotechnical analysis starts at Badgerys Creek". Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  46. ^ Nageshwar, Pranesh (13 April 2015). "Nick the Slasher forced to join airport exodus at Badgerys Creek". Penrith Press. News Corporation. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  47. ^ Fletcher, Paul (11 May 2017). "Government commits up to $5.3 billion to build Western Sydney Airport". Minister for Infrastructure (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  48. ^ "'Inspiring choice': New Sydney airport named after Nancy-Bird Walton". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  49. ^ "Western Sydney Airport contracts mean local jobs". WSA Co. WSA Co. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.

External links[edit]