Sydney Airport won't be building Badgerys Creek because it's too 'risky'

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

Sydney Airport has told the federal government it doesn’t want to build and operate the proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

CEO Kerrie Mather says the airport’s investigations of the proposal found the risks associated with the development are considerable.

“The development of a new airport is an exciting opportunity for western Sydney,” she says.

However, the project would mean many decades without returns to investors.

“Sydney Airport’s decision not to accept the WSA (Western Sydney Airport) NOI (Notice of Intention) on the terms provided is in the best interests of our investors who represent millions of Australians through their superannuation funds,” says Mather.

The airport says it conducted extensive analysis on likely demand and growth potential, construction costs, risk profile and financial returns.

Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, says the consultation meetings with Sydney Airport were conducted in an atmosphere of good faith.

“I wish the company well in its future endeavours, noting that Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport is Australia’s principal international gateway and plays a vital role in the Australian economy,” he says.

The federal government decided in December to go with Badgerys Creek.

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

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.

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