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With continued disagreement between federal and state governments over the prospects of a second airport for Sydney, a decades-old plan to add two more runways to Sydney Airport is being reconsidered.
The two runways would be built on reclaimed land on the other side of Botany Bay, to the south of the current airport, with road and rail connections and a new terminal for domestic and international flights.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the plan has won the backing of NSW state treasurer Mike Baird as an alternative to continued stalling over Sydney's second airport.
"We should consider the proposal in detail" Baird reportedly told the Telegraph. "It would seem an opportunity to maximise existing infrastructure without impacting the curfew before new infrastructure is needed."
The ambitious expansion is costed at $5.2 billion, almost have the price tipped for building a new airport at either Badgery's Creek or Wilton, the two proposed sites for a second airport within the Sydney basin.
However, noted aviation journalist Ben Sandilands has been quick to point out "two very big problems" with adding any runways to Sydney Airport.
"No matter how many runways Sydney Airport gets, it is legally limited to 80 flights an hour" Sandilands writes in his Plane Talking column at Crikey, "and it is useless for serving the western half of Sydney, which is generating massive and growing demand."
Sandilands details the proposal to develop an airport on the southern shore of Botany Bay reaches back more than 50 years, with the notion of a "combined flying boat and airliner hub."
"At the time, long range flying boats were part of the future of post-war airline plans world wide, and Sydney had a second airport in the form of the flying boat base at Rose Bay."
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