Sydney’s Badgerys Creek airport will not have a rail connection
The Sydney Morning Herald
The second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek in the city’s west will be capable of handling 10 million domestic and international passengers a year through a single terminal when it opens in 2025, but it will lack a rail connection, according to the federal government.
“It will be neither a shed in a paddock nor a grand monument,” Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development deputy secretary Andrew Wilson told the CAPA 2015 Airport Innovation Day in Sydney. “Think of Adelaide Airport today and you would be in the right ballpark.”
Mr Wilson said it would need to cater for any plausible range of services, including domestic and international passenger and cargo flights by full-service and low-cost airlines and freight providers. The airport will begin with a single runway, but over time it will develop into a parallel runway facility capable of handling 80 million passengers a year.
The federal and NSW governments have announced a $3.5 billion roads package to improve links to Badgerys Creek. But Mr Wilson said the airport would not have a rail link at the time of its opening. “Rail is just one means of public transport,” he said. “The first public transport to and from the airport will be buses provided through an efficient road network. Rail is a longer-term requirement.”
Mr Wilson said the airport will not have a curfew, in a move that could help Sydney obtain late-night services from Asian and Middle Eastern carriers, which have been lost to Melbourne and Brisbane as a result of the curfew at the current Kingsford-Smith airport in Sydney. But it is unclear if the new airport will be treated as a “regional airport” under the government’s bilateral air agreements. That would allow airlines from countries that faced caps in flying to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to fly to Badgerys Creek even if the cap to the other airports had been reached.
“A decision will be made closer to its time of operation,” said Stephen Borthwick, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development general manager aviation industry policy. “It isn’t that simple. It could require some renegotiation of bilaterals as well.”
The Department on June 30 finished nine months of detailed consultations with KSA operator Sydney Airport, which has a first right of refusal over the development. Mr Wilson said that process had involved 76 meetings, and his department was now using the information to compile a “notice of intention” setting out the key terms of the proposed development.
“If everything goes well it is possible the notice of intention will be with Sydney Airport by the end of this year,” he said, adding environmental impact statement documents could be released for public consultation in November and December.
Mr Wilson said the development of Badgerys Creek would open up the aviation sector to a community that by 2035 would be the size of Brisbane. He said on average, Australians fly more than Americans and Europeans, but the population west of Parramatta was an anomaly.
“No doubt the $250 taxi fare [to Kingsford-Smith airport] has something to do with this,” he said.
Paul Bredereck, the managing director of regional airline Jetgo, said the plans for Badgerys Creek appeared to be “small league” in terms of vision.
“For God’s sake, it is a major international airport and no express rail service to the CBD?,” he said. “In the last few weeks I have driven from Bankstown to Sydney Airport. It is not a pleasant experience. Buses from Badgerys Creek to the CBD? Who are you kidding?”
One veteran aviation industry consultant said he was “stunned” by the lack of rail upon opening and said it would be a big mistake.
Mr Bredereck, who said his airline would eventually operate at Badgerys Creek due to the lack of slots at KSA, also said the government should consider planning for an eventual four runways at the airport rather than two.
Mr Wilson said four runways “would just not fit” on the site, but Mr Bredereck said it had been done on similar-sized sites overseas and should be examined more closely.
“If the city is a world-class city and you are building a world-class airport for the future do it properly,” Mr Bredereck said. “Do it once, do it well.”
A planned $2.7 billion airport at Badgerys Creek in western Sydney could require $1 billion of government subsidies or extra levies on airlines in the first decade to make it a financially viable proposition for Sydney Airport, according to a new analysis by Deutsche Bank.
Video: Future Sydney- Badgerys Creek Airport