Sydney will get a second — potentially 24-hour — airport at Badgerys Creek, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced this afternoon.
“There’s been too much studying, not enough deciding,” Abbott said in a televised press conference, adding the decision had been “squibbed” and “shirked” for years.
“I don’t want this to be just a jobs generator I want this to be efficient infrastructure that maximises befits from Australia,” he said.
The announcement has been expected for some weeks now.
Earlier media reports had speculated a second airport may not be covered by a curfew currently in place at Mascot. While a decision has not been made, Abbott said new aircraft were quieter, and that it would not be such an issue at Badgerys Creek.
The curfew in Sydney airport places severe restrictions on departure times for airlines flying in to Sydney from major aviation hubs like Singapore and Dubai.
“We are certainly not saying there will be a curfew, we are saying we want this to be a jobs generator,” Abbott said.
A fact sheet released by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said the issue of a curfew would be considered.
“In making a decision about the regulatory controls on any airport, the Government will need to make judgments about the economic value of less restrictive hours of operation and the impact on communities.
“The merits of a curfew at Badgerys Creek will be carefully considered by the Government,” the document reads.
The document also says the proximity of the proposed site means less people would be affected by aircraft noise than those who live around Mascot.
“As a result, a typical noise footprint for aircraft operating from a northeast runway at Badgerys Creek would affect approximately 3,900 residents.
“As a comparison, the equivalent noise footprint at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport affects around 130,000 residents,” it reads.
Australia’s national carrier Qantas welcomed the decision, with CEO Alan Joyce saying the benefits of multiple airports had been seen overseas.
“Qantas has long supported the building of a second airport at Badgerys Creek, as have a number of detailed studies. After decades of debate, we applaud today’s announcement by the Prime Minister,” Joyce said.
“The role of second airports has been well-established in several of the world’s major capitals. Sydney is the key gateway for air traffic in-and-out of Australia and the benefits of having two major airports will be felt nationwide.”
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