Notice of Intention issued
On 20 December 2016, the Australian Government issued a Notice of Intention to the owners of Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, Sydney Airport Group, setting out the contractual terms for developing and operating the Western Sydney Airport. Under the 2002 Share Sale agreement, Sydney Airport Group has the right of first refusal for the opportunity to build and operate the new airport.
The Notice of Intention outlines the contractual requirements for the airport development. The NOI aligns with the recently approved Airport Plan and binds the airport operator to the environmental conditions placed on the development by the Minister for the Environment and Energy.
Sydney Airport Group will now consider the proposal and advise whether they will take up the opportunity to develop and operate the Western Sydney Airport. While Sydney Airport Group considers the offer, the Australian Government is continuing necessary work preparing the site, including clearing structures, undertaking geotechnical assessments, identifying rail corridors and upgrading roads. Construction is expected to start in 2018.
More information is available on the Notice of Intention factsheets
Airport Plan determined
The Western Sydney Airport Plan has been determined by the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure. The finalised Airport Plan sets out the vision for the development and operation of a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and provides the authorisation to allow the construction and operation of Stage 1 of the proposed airport.
The Airport Plan includes conditions with which the development of a Western Sydney Airport must comply. The conditions have been placed on the airport development by the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy, and the Minister for Urban Infrastructure.
Environmental Impact Statement finalised
On 15 September 2016, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure, announced the finalisation of the Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The finalised EIS provides a comprehensive assessment of the environmental and social changes the proposed airport may bring.
Budget 2016: Western Sydney Airport
The Australian Government has committed $115 million to fund planning and preparation work for the Western Sydney Airport project in the 2016 budget. This includes $89 million towards critical preparation activities for the airport site, allocated over two years. A further $26 million will go towards developing the concept design for rail access through the airport site.
For more information, visit Western Sydney factsheets where you can find the Budget 2016: Western Sydney Airport factsheet.
Western Sydney's rail future
The Australian and NSW governments have partnered to investigate the future rail transport needs for Western Sydney and the proposed Western Sydney Airport.
Announced in November 2015, the joint Scoping study on rail needs for Western Sydney will help determine the rail transport needs of the people living, working and visiting the broader Western Sydney region. It will consider the best options for future investment, including decisions around timing, and rail service options.
Further to this work, the Australian Government is ensuring that planning for the proposed Western Sydney Airport considers future rail needs.
As a result, the Airport Plan preserves flexibility for several possible rail alignments within the airport site. You can view the text of the Terms of Reference for the scoping study and visit the Western Sydney's rail future page for more information.
Draft Airport Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement released for comment
The draft Airport Plan and draft EIS were on public exhibition from 19 October to 18 December 2015. Extensive consultation was carried out in this period with 16 community information sessions held across nine local government areas. During this time the community was invited to have a say on the airport's development. The community's submissions have been carefully reviewed and considered as part of the process to finalise both documents.
Almost 5,000 submissions were received from the community and organisations. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development reviewed these submissions, which were taken into account in the finalised EIS. While individual submission will not be published, the EIS includes a submissions report that details the issues raised and how they have been addressed.
Geotechnical investigations have taken place on the airport site.
These soil investigations profiled the subsoil and rock at locations across the airport site, with a particular focus on the proposed runway alignments and major building footprints.
Test pits involving earthmoving equipment excavating narrow pits of up to three metres deep and the boreholes involved equipment drilling holes of a depth of up to 10 metres. This work has now been completed.
The development of a Western Sydney Airport at the Badgerys Creek airport site would require earthmoving works. Modelling of the proposed preparatory earthworks has sought to level the ground so that the volumes of cut would balance the areas of fill on the airport site. This means that earthworks could involve minimal transport of materials to or from the airport site.
The bulk earthworks will be carried out in stages as an airport is developed. For the Stage 1 airport development preparations, approximately 22 million cubic metres of soil would be levelled and redistributed across the construction zone, covering about 60 per cent of the airport site or approximately 1,000 hectares. By comparison, the nearby M7 Motorway (41km in length) required 7 million cubic metres of earthworks.
This process will ensure there will be a level surface on which to construct the airport facilities.
For the long term, the diagram below represents how, in total, approximately 31.3 million cubic metres of cut (shaded in red) and 32.6 million cubic metres of fill (shaded in green) would be required for a dual runway airport at Badgerys Creek.
The Australian and NSW governments have already committed more than $3.6 billion to a 10-year road investment plan for Western Sydney, and planning has ensured an airport would expand to meet growing demand. A number of road upgrades as part of this plan are already underway.
These investments will help provide Western Sydney with the infrastructure it needs to unlock economic capacity by easing congestion and creating thousands of local jobs. To find out the latest news on the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, you can visit the NSW Roads and Maritime Services' website.