THE Australian Government last week announced that the Airport Plan for the Western Sydney Airport has been finalised, which authorises the construction and operation of Stage 1 of the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek.
In a joint statement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said that after decades of studies and planning, all the approvals are now in place for what will be the first capital city greenfield airport project Australia has seen in decades.
"This is the most significant step taken by any Government on this project – meaning we can now get on with building the airport so it is ready to take its first passengers by the mid-2020s," Mr Turnbull and Mr Fletcher said in the statement.
Stage 1 of the airport, which will be operational in the mid-2020s, will include a single runway and facilities to cater for approximately 10 million passengers per year. A second parallel runway is expected to be required by around 2050.
Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has considered the Airport Plan against the findings of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and conditions have been placed on the airport's development. These conditions are binding for the developer and operator of the airport.
Mr Turnbull and Mr Fletcher said the Australian Government is working with all levels of government to ensure the benefits of a newly-created airport precinct are maximised.
"The airport will be integrated into strategic planning for greater Sydney as part of a City Deal for Western Sydney to deliver affordable housing, jobs and better transport for the region, creating a more liveable and sustainable city," they said.
The Australian and NSW governments are jointly funding construction on the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, which aims to improve road networks across Western Sydney and ensure that by the time the airport opens, it is serviced by world class land transport infrastructure. Rail options are currently under consideration, as is the preservation of a rail corridor on the airport site.
"This Airport Plan provides a blueprint for this airport development – which will transform and create opportunities for Western Sydney and bring important benefits for the entire Sydney region and the nation, now and in the future," Mr Turnbull and Mr Fletcher said.
"We will continue to work with the community to make sure we get this once-in-a-generation opportunity right, optimising the wide range of benefits the airport will bring."