Sydney Airport proposes new T4 international terminal

By David Flynn, May 30 2017
Sydney Airport proposes new T4 international terminal

Sydney Airport has revealed plans to build a new international terminal adjacent to the current domestic terminal 3 used by Qantas.

Dubbed T4, the terminal would take over space now occupied by the Qantas jet base which houses and maintains the airline's fleet.

A Terminal 4 North pier would wrap around the jet base footprint, with a possible Terminal 3 South pier would extend from and connect to the domestic Terminal 2 primarily used by Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Air.

A pier for the new terminal would also extend south from the domestic precinct, while "remote aprons" could be built near the northern boundary in Airport Drive.

Sydney Airport bought out Qantas' long-term lease on Terminal 3 in mid-2015 for $535 million, ahead of the lease expiry in 2019. Qantas would retain access to T3 but would be required to relocate its jet base, which is held under lease until 2020.

The airport sketched out the concept at its 2017 Annual General Meeting, saying the terminal was needed to cope with the growing numbers of passengers, driven by steady demand from Asia.

"We think the time is about right to have some significant expansion," Sydney Airport chairman Trevor Gerber told shareholders. "We think the demand is clearly there, too."

Also on the cards is a new Pier A for Terminal 1, which would add three international gates, and potentially adding 'remote gates' at airport's far north perimeter, which would likely be used by low-cost airlines and serviced by shuttle buses running to and from T1.

Sydney Airport previously proposed and later scrapped the creation of two alliance-based 'mega-terminals' combining domestic and international operations, which would have seen the  current T2 and T3 domestic terminals merged into a single hub for Qantas, Jetstar and all Oneworld airlines operating out of Sydney, along with Qantas partner Emirates....

... while all other airlines would continue to fly from today's international Terminal 1, which would also become the domestic home for Virgin Australia as well as becoming a de facto Star Alliance hub.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

and maybe they might be able to include a free and fast transit system between the terminals... 

05 May 2016

Total posts 635

The free QANTAS bus whilst better than nothing sure leaves a lot to be desired. A free and fast transit system between the terminals would make transiting in Sydney much more attractive.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 232

So, that would mean the Qantas jet base will have to go interstate or to Badgerys Creek?
I doubt they will install a people mover to those remote gates proposed for the Northern and Southern aprons, so that would be a second grade experience from the get go.
And won't planes need to queue more often just to cross the main run way more to access the relocated terminals?
Guess we'll see.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 489

All very nice but Sydney is still a curfew and slot-constrained airport. 

Unless a lot more international flights go A380 I'm not sure what this solves..?

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 92

Does anybody seriously  think this wil happen in our lifetime?

The cost of moving the Qantas jet base would be astronomical!
Qantas are certainly  not in a position  to spend that  sort of money, and would not want to move away from Kingsford Smith considering Sydney is the centre of their operations. How much clean up of site would have to be done as highly likely chemical  contamination.  Would be cheaper to build new terminals near tower or in south west corner extending out into Botany Bay.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1021

I think this is just an attempt by SAC to muddy the waters following their failed attempt to stop Badgery's Creek.  This is all years away and is nothing more than concept drawings.  

As others have pointed out, the curfew and hourly cap are major limits on SYD.  Extra gates will not overcome these.  Having said that, maybe they should send their plans to MEL where extra gates and new terminals will overcome its.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 489

I thought the same thing when I saw the article title...They've decided to undertake a bit of FUD given the good news vibe from Badgery's Creek..! 

I take it they are planning on filling in the big pond to the west of jet base? I'm sure there's some endangered frogs or turtles lurking in them waters! 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Feb 2016

Total posts 8

After all the Jet A-1 spills over the years which ended up in that pond, I'm sure there wouldn't be anything alive in there!


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1409

The plan is the  QF base would go to the SSE sector. But I am sure QF would not pay for it given the scale of the move.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1409

The plan is the  QF base would go to the SSE sector. But I am sure QF would not pay for it given the scale of the move. As for the regionals as QF is the largest they won't be moving either.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 489

Given the lease is up on jet base in 2020 Qantas wouldn't have to pay anything as SACL would be required to build a new maintenance facility at SSE which Qantas would then lease....

SACL could say no, but then Qantas could transfer maintenance to BNE or MEL or LAX etc...

It would be wise for SACL to build a new maintenance facility as it means long term lease revenue. It would be wise for Qantas to make sure they do as they have a core of LAME's in Sydney who probably won't want to relocate elsewhere - a lot of corporate knowledge in them their heads...particularly in relation to the 744 fleet...

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

Yep, I'm positive I have seen/read this 'plan' a few years ago, albeit with some minor 'who (airlines) goes where' differences, but basically 'involves' the same current QF maintenance area, airport cargo area, near control tower area and stand off areas.

The one thing I will add, is that in the future (5-15yrs), QF will spread it's maintenance requirements/facilities more evenly over the bases of BNE/SYD/MEL AND LAX, and QF SYD will not require such a large maintenance area as the large 747s and 380s will be phased out, Just my opinion of course :)

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 127

Maintain the 787s at MEL (where they'll primarily be based), the A380s at LAX, and the 737s wherever you like.  No need for a major maintenance base at SYD.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2015

Total posts 15

I am sure that the current QF Base would make a great series of parking stations, surely that has the greatest return on investment


10 Jul 2016

Total posts 3

Looks like a lightbulb moment by someone to pad out a shareholder meeting with a fancy slide show. It makes Sydney look like the mess of terminals that Heathrow used to be.

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