SYDNEY needs a second airport "sooner rather than later", according to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, who this week said that a report investigating Sydney's airport needs and related land transport matters would be released in the second half of this year.
Mr Albanese this week said that economic modelling shows that a second airport for Sydney will be required soon rather than later, with Sydney Airport found to be close to capacity.
The study predicts that as a result of capacity constraints at Sydney Airport, increasingly long delays will be experienced, which Mr Albanese said would cause a knock-on effect across Australia, resulting in inconvenience and negative impacts to economic growth and jobs.
The study, conducted by consultants Booz and Company, predicted that minor disruptions could cause five-hour delays within a decade without another facility.
"Sydney is Australia's global city. It is the city that global citizens want to fly into more so than any other airport around Australia. And it's vital that that infrastructure be kept up to date," Mr Albanese said.
"That is why we need a second airport."
Federal legislation caps the number of aircraft movements at the airport to 80 an hour and imposes a curfew on the airport, preventing aircraft from taking off or landing between the hours of 11pm and 6am. Mr Albanese said that under his watch, "there will be no shift in the curfew or the cap on movements at Sydney Airport."
Mr Albanese said the government would release the report once it is received and would consider it on its merits.
He also said that while the study may examine the high-speed rail link study that has been commissioned by the Australian Government, there is no direct link between the two.