The Western Sydney Airport project is one of the largest infrastructure projects Australia has seen in recent years, and would be the first major greenfield airport development in decades.
The Airports Act 1996 has been amended to reflect the unique requirements of the airport project, including the development of an Airport Plan. The Airport Plan will provide a single environment and development approval for the project.
The draft Airport Plan
The Western Sydney Airport draft Airport Plan PDF: 110608 KB was released for public exhibition on Monday 19 October 2015, along with the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The public exhibition period closed on Friday 18 December 2015.
The draft Airport Plan includes:
- the development objectives for the proposed airport;
- a land use plan;
- indicative flight paths and indicative noise contours; and
- details about the proposed airport, including requirements for Stage 1 (a single runway facility expected to commence operations around 2025) and a long term vision (a dual runway facility, with the second runway expected to be operational around 2050).
Once determined, the Airport Plan will authorise the Stage 1 development of the proposed Western Sydney airport to occur.
The determination is contingent on the Minister for the Environment's consideration of the finalised EIS, including the requirement of any conditions in the Airport Plan for the purpose of protecting the environment.
Indicative flight paths and aircraft approach and departure paths have been developed for the proposed airport by Airservices Australia. The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assesses noise and other impacts based on the indicative flight paths.
Visit the Maps and images page to see indicative airport layout and indicative flight paths for the Stage 1 development (a single runway facility expected to be operational by around 2025).
The runways of the proposed airport would run southwest to northeast across the airport site. Therefore it is likely that aircraft will mostly take off and land over the Western Sydney Priority Growth Area and Western Sydney Employment Area or over the predominantly rural area to the southwest. This would provide a buffer between the airport and residential development.
Legislative arrangements and approval process
Development of the proposed Western Sydney Airport will be subject to environment and development approvals being in place. Ordinarily development at existing federally leased airports requires approvals under the Airports Act 1996, such as through Major Development Plans. However, the Act does not appropriately cater for development of new airports.
The Airports Act 1996 was amended to reflect the unique requirements of the Western Sydney Airport project, including the development of a draft Airport Plan. A new draft EIS for the proposed airport has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the EIS guidelines.
The draft Airport Plan specifies how Stage 1 of the proposed Western Sydney Airport would be developed on the Badgerys Creek airport site, while the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assesses the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with the Stage 1 development.
Combining the approval for the draft Airport Plan and draft EIS allows them to be completed in one transparent process. This single approval process will mean the benefits of this transformational project could be delivered to the Western Sydney community sooner.
Following finalisation of the EIS, the Minister for the Environment will consider the draft Airport Plan from an environmental perspective and notify the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport whether the Airport Plan should be determined. In determining the Airport Plan, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport must accept any environmental conditions notified by the Minister for the Environment, taking into account the finalised EIS.