THE Australian Government last week announced the next steps in its plan to increase Sydney's aviation capacity, following the release of the 2012 Joint Study on Aviation Capacity in the Sydney Region report earlier this year.
The report, commissioned jointly by the Australian and NSW governments, said that existing aviation infrastructure in Sydney will not cope with aviation demand.
The joint study also shows that road and rail access to the existing airport needs to be improved urgently and existing airport infrastructure in the region better investigated.
Outlining its next steps to deal with aviation capacity constraints in Sydney, the Australian Government said the report makes it clear that Sydney needs a second airport.
The next steps include:
- A detailed investigation into the suitability of Wilton, including conducting preliminary economic, social and environmental studies;
- Making sure that the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited develops a strategy to invest in terminal, apron, taxiway and other improvements to operate Sydney Airport to maximum efficiency;
- Working with the NSW Government to develop a long-term plan to meet projected demand on the road and rail networks servicing Sydney Airport; and
- Assessing the scope and consequences of utilising RAAF Base Richmond for limited civil operations, including consideration of social, economic and environmental impacts.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said he has written to Sydney Airport Corporation Limited today to advise that the government will now initiate the consultation requirements under the right of first refusal clause under the Sydney Airport Share Sale Agreement.
He said he also directed them to immediately develop a new Master Plan to make sure the airport is better able to cope with demand and addresses the issues raised in the study.
"These next steps build on the commitments we have already made to retain the movement cap and curfew and ensure current access by regional airlines to Sydney," Mr Albanese said.
Following this, the government will determine how Sydney's long term aviation needs should be met, which Mr Albanese said would be conducted in a bipartisan and consultative manner.