Sydney Airport says it needs more time to plan for Badgerys Creek

An artist’s impression of Badgerys Creek airport. Source:

Sydney Airport is seeking more time from the federal government to develop costings and a plan to build a new airport at Badgerys Creek.

The airport today received a formal offer to develop and operate a second airport in the city’s west. The federal government wants the plan in four months but Sydney Airport says it needs nine.

The 2002 Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport Sale Agreement gives Sydney Airport a right of first refusal to develop and operate a second major airport within 100km of Sydney’s CBD.

The federal government earlier this month made a decision to go with Badgerys Creek.

“A new airport serving the aviation needs of western Sydney is an exciting opportunity for the region and the people of western Sydney,” says Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather.

The population in western Sydney is expected to grow from 2 million to 3 million by the 2030s. Sydney’s main airport is expected to reach capacity by 2027.

“The challenges facing the development of a greenfield airport cannot be underestimated,” Mather says.

“Project risks include procurement and construction risks over the approximately 10-year period before the airport opens, and operational, traffic, financing and political risks, which are at their peak in the initial years of the airport lease.”

Sydney Airport has stated that the project would need material support from the federal government to make it commercially viable.

“Our job now, on behalf of our investors, is to evaluate the opportunity taking a rigorous approach and applying our disciplined investment criteria including consideration of rates of return, cash flow, growth potential, downside protections and the impact on Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport,” says Mather.

The federal government has indicated that Sydney Airport will have four months to consider and respond to the Notice of Intention.

However, Mather says Sydney Airport believes it is entitled to nine months.

She says Sydney Airport will conduct confidential and detailed market soundings with contractors to get an idea of construction costs.