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Melbourne Airport hopes to open its third runway by 2018-2022 at an estimated cost of $500m.
To be aligned east-west, the proposed third runway will operate in parallel to the existing east-west runway as well as the current north-south runway. It will be approximately 3000 metres long and 60 metres wide, and capable of handling the A380 superjumbo.
“The Melbourne Airport draft Master Plan envisages that a new runway will be needed around 2018-2022 to meet the demand from domestic and international airlines as the number of passengers travelling through Melbourne continues to grow" said Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff, in announcing plans for the new runway.
“Passenger numbers are forecast to reach 40 million by the end of the decade, and more than 60 million by 2033.”
“A new east-west runway will enable Melbourne Airport to handle more aircraft movements, more efficiently" Woodruff said.
"Passengers will spend less time on the ground taxiing to and from terminals, and aircraft will burn less fuel on more direct flight paths and shorter trips from the gate to the runway."
Public consultation on the plan will be sought in early 2013, with the necessary planning, consultation and approval process expected to be carried out by 2015-2016.
The new runway would have a construction timeframe of two to four years, which will see it ready for operation around 2018-2022.