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.