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Find out more about the planning for the Western Sydney Airport project, what has happened so far and what the next steps are in the new brochure, An airport for Western Sydney: Building Western Sydney's future PDF: 9222 KB ReadSpeaker

An airport for the 21st century

Building a new airport presents a rare opportunity to adopt the latest in technology and design so that it can continue to meet growing demand for aviation services for decades to come.

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The Western Sydney Airport will be required to meet national sustainability-ratings standards. By adopting these best-practice standards, the airport will be able to reduce its environmental impact during construction and operation, particularly through energy efficiency, water use and urban planning.

The airport will be able to grow with demand for air travel. On opening, the airport will be capable of handling the full range of domestic and international aircraft. Stage 1 of the airport will deliver one runway and cater for 10 million passengers a year five years after opening—similar in size to Adelaide Airport today.

A second parallel runway would be required around 2050. The second runway would provide the capacity to meet growth in demand for air travel.

Planning an airport for Western Sydney

While Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport is surrounded by urban development, careful planning over the last three decades has protected the Badgerys Creek site from encroaching residential development. The nearest suburban residences to the Western Sydney Airport site are around 10.5 kilometres from the end of the runway; at Sydney Airport, this distance is approximately 600 metres from the end of its runway.

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Careful planning will make a Western Sydney Airport capable of operating without a curfew. This means that Sydney will finally have a curfew-free airport that meets the needs of the community and business. It also means that the airport will be able to maximise economic benefits while taking care to minimise impacts on the community.

Curfew-free airports provide significant benefits to communities and businesses by supporting growth in not only local, but also regional and national economies. They assist local businesses in getting their goods to national and international markets quicker by being able to fly at night.

Twenty-four-hour operations also give passengers the flexibility to catch a flight when they need to, and open up the potential for better international connections. They also can lead to less air traffic congestion through more efficient timetabling.

Melbourne Airport suggests its curfew-free status allows for the movement of an extra two million passengers a year and adds $590 million to the Victorian economy through visitor spending.

First-class infrastructure

Good transport links will be essential for the airport. The Australian and NSW governments have committed $3.6 billion to the 10-year Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan. This program is a series of road projects to connect the Western Sydney Airport to Sydney's road network.

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As part of these road upgrades, a new M12 Motorway will provide the main road access to the Western Sydney Airport site, providing direct access from the M7 in the east to an upgraded The Northern Road in the west. More information on other road upgrades under the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan is available on the NSW Roads and Maritimes Services website.

Rail transport will also play a role in connecting Western Sydney to the airport. The Australian and NSW governments are working together so that rail infrastructure for Western Sydney and the airport is in place at the right time. Both governments are undertaking a joint scoping study on Western Sydney's rail future to determine the rail transport needs of the people living, working and visiting the broader Western Sydney region.

More information

A range of factsheets are available summarising a number of topics from the Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement. The Frequently Asked Questions section has a range of answers to popular topics about the Western Sydney Airport. If you have other questions, you can contact the Western Sydney Unit:

  • By phone on freecall 1800 038 160, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm
  • By email to wsu@infrastructure.gov.au
  • By mail to:
    Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
    Western Sydney Unit
    GPO Box 594
    Canberra ACT 2601