Badgerys Creek airport set for take-off

By David Flynn, April 15 2014

Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek has received the green light from the Federal government, with initial construction to start in 2016 for first flights in 10 years’ time.

Located past the south-west edge of Sydney’s suburban sprawl, and already formally dubbed Sydney West Airport (with an airport code of SWZ), Badgerys Creek will begin with a single runway suitable for both domestic and international flights.

However, there will be scope to add a parallel second runway if needed.

The site for Badgerys Creek Airport, aka Sydney West Airport. www.infrastructure.gov.au
The site for Badgerys Creek Airport, aka Sydney West Airport
www.infrastructure.gov.au

The new airport will operate 24 hours a day, compared to the current 11pm to 6am curfew imposed by Sydney Airport on international flights.

The countdown begins...

Today’s decision fires the starter’s gun on an extensive period of planning and consultation before work begins on the site.

One crucial element of this is the infrastructure investment needed to support the airport’s construction and ongoing operation, including the cost of access roads and a railway link.

In February this year NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell rejected a federal transport funding package of $200 million, saying the amount “seems to be missing a zero.”

It’s expected that a substantially higher sum could be revealed in the May federal budget but presented as part of a broader-reaching infrastructure plan for the western Sydney region, to help appease MPs whose electorates fall under the likely flight paths.

The government’s approval of Badgerys Creek also sets in motion the procedure for giving Sydney Airport Corporation first right of refusal to manage the new airport.

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David

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.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Regardless of your political preferences, one of the good things about a change of government is that there's certain things that need to be done that will only be done by a government freshly elected for its first term. This is one of them.

I'm sure people will bitch about the aircraft noise, but if you look at a map, the nearest houses to the airport site are about 5km away -- about as far as Drummoyne is from SYD. I can't imagine it will be particularly loud.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

What airlines would likely use this new airport? I'd imagine the LCCs as they can operate more flights during the wee hours, but for connectivity to other flights I'd imagine the legacy carriers would stick to SYD?

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

I'd say the low-cost airlines would be first but I could also see QF and VA operating limited domestic flights on popular routes from here, for example some SYD-MEL (sorry, that should now be SWZ-MEL?) flights during peak hours.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

It's very useful for late-night departures.

Etihad

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

If the airport maintains the proposed flight paths and doesn't add paths over housing areas, then it should be okay. 

One of the problems with Badgery's is that it suffers from fog 1 in 3 mornings throughout the year. That could prove tricky at times. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 33

Oh no that fog count cannot be good...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1380

Think the question as to what airlines use it will be based on what is built.

Personally I hope Stage 1 will be.

1. Railway connection to the South West Rail Link (ie extend line from Leppington), but with future capacity for higher speed links

2. Freight terminal - displace all freight from SYD

3. Relatively low-cost terminal with swing gates for international (like Adelaide) and capability for regional flights

but I would also hope that the airport is planned properly for future expansion including infield terminals, subways between terminals etc.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 73

This airport will be useless unless there's the supporting infrastructure. There needs to be:

1) Express train service from the CBD and Parramatta train stations. At last check, the proposed solution was for passengers to get on a regular service from Central and change at Liverpool for a sprint service to SWZ. Stupidest idea ever, but completely expected from Aussie politicians. 

2) Improvements to the M5 Motorway which is already beyond capacity. 

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

won't impact me... by the time it actually gets built and is operational..i'll be dead!! lol...

food for thought...im sure 'sydneytrains' will whack on an 'airport levy' to get to SWZ airport on the suburban train..via Liverpool..(it's called the sydney bogan 'experience') and if it's ever built!!.. and if a vehicle motorway is built...expect a nice charge (via a toll) for the 'privilage' of driving to the airport!! ....either way you will be paying extra to reach/use SWZ...

on the whole ...Australias road/rail/airport infrastructure is embarrassing...govts dont wanna pay for/own them...private 'entities' need to make profits on them.....the user public gets 'scr..ed' 

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Sydney Trains doesn't charge the levy. AirportLink does.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

and of course the media jump on the 'bandwagon'... stirring the pot... 'interviewing local residents' on the impact to their 'immediate' lives....on an airport that 'may' be operational in 10-20yrs..'not in my backyard syndrome'!!  lol.....Australia is changing....get used to it!!!  

KK
KK

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 104

Operation starting from mid-2020s with single runway? It just waste money

What Sydney needs is an airport with a massive terminal and at least two runways.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

No it doesn't, it already has one of those.

What Sydney needs is a second airport, planned carefully with the possibility of expansion.

KK
KK

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 104

Already has one? Where?

The expansion speed of the city is much much faster than the planning. Land should be used for properties to cope with the increasing population.

Sydney should build an airport in the sea like those in HK, Osaka and Nagoya.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

How big *is* Sydney planning to get anyway? I think we should be thinking more about how to stabilise the population of Sydney when it reaches five million, rather than planning for an ever-increasing number of people that can't comfortably fit. Population growth is a choice, not a fact of life. And that's separate to the issue of whether we should stabilise the population of the country as a whole.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 165

You have to be joking about putting it in the sea that will cause the cost to escalate even further. (no one wants this) . australia has so little people in so much space unlike japan and HK and we dont have the money to do it like japan and HK in our huge country we can surely find somewhere for an airport for sydney

VA

17 Dec 2013

Total posts 51

I smell another Avalon. And as spawn of Sydney's North Shore, talk of Bagery's Creek is as old as I am, so I'm not betting the house on this. But my ten cents worth ...

Kingsford Smith has it's flaws but it's positives include proximity to the CBD and the much underrated rail link. It takes ten minutes from Central to ride down. The east west runway is underused and I'd be building a fourth runway out into Botany Bay before I went out west. After all, Botany Bay may have been beautiful once, but no fragile ecosystem anymore.

A high speed rail link into Williamtown or Canberra would be a better idea and a cheaper option than building a new airport afresh. Plus, the local economies would enjoy the boost.

Etihad

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

If done right, Badgery's Creek could become Sydney's Gatwick. However, the federal govt and the NSW govt will need to invest in public infrastructure to open alongside the airport - rail links to the city and to population hubs in the West (Penrith, Blacktown, and Parramatta), and road upgrades. These transport links need to be planned to cater for future demand (at least setting aside land for expansion work) to avoid the usual squeeze that comes only years after construction (think M4 and M5). 

I too would prefer Canberra as a second airport, not just for Sydney, but also for NSW. It is time we start looking to decentralise our population a little more. A Canberra to Sydney HSR line could mean travel times of 40 minutes. Canberra airport already has infrastructure and room to expand. Plus. It would enable more people to live outside Sydney, but work there (and vice versa for Canberra).

However, this is inconsequential at the moment now Badgery's has been announced. That said, there is no reason why, in 50 years or so, we can't have a third airport at Canberra may happen one day. Given that it has been nearly half a century to decide on this one tells me I'm dreamin'. 

One thing that amuses me about this article, though, is the image of an A380. As far as can be seen in today's announcement, it's unlikely these giants will be found at Badgery's for some time. 

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Let's be realistic. A train from Sydney to Canberra in 40 minutes would be travelling at 500 km/h. The fastest train in the world is the Shanghai Maglev which can hit 430 km/h but which averages only 251 km/h, and that's on 30 km of dead flat track. Even if we could somehow bulldoze tens of billions of dollars worth of people's houses from Central to Campbelltown to build a dead straight railway line, there'd still be a lot of hills to burrow through from Sydney to Canberra. The whole thing would cost one gazillion dollars.

I agree we should decentralise the population of NSW and Australia in general, but we can't do it by keeping building 500 km/h rail lines to everywhere and assuming everyone's gonna live in Canberra and commute to Sydney. 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

"One thing that amuses me about this article, though, is the image of an A380. As far as can be seen in today's announcement, it's unlikely these giants will be found at Badgery's for some time."

Ben: the image was chosen because it's a good eye-catching pic which conveys the essence of an airport that's coming, ready to roll etc (and it's not the bleeding obvious of a Google Maps snapshot). Feel free to search for and suggest a copyright-free image which you feel is more suitable.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

It could be argued that the bleeding obvious Google Maps snapshot is far more useful given that most people don't have that good an idea of where Badgery's Creek is (apart from the fact that it's way out west somewhere...)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1380

Sydney West is much closer to the population of Sydney than Avalon...which is more of a Geelong airport.

Melbourne is also growing more to the East rather than than the SouthWest where Avalon is.

Reality is Sydney West is not much further out of the CBD than Melbourne, albeit the links aren't presently as good.

It is also a much better solution than trying to pass of Canberra or Newcastle as a Sydney Airport, even ignoring the massive cost and engineering challenges in building a high speed rail network to get out of the Sydney Basin (basin for a reason)

01 Feb 2012

Total posts 370

If you had to explain to someone with no understanding of Australian politics - how likely is this to be built? Like 80%? or 40%? (No need to take into account potential delays).

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 12

Nine years from start of construction till the first flight!

They used to build airstrips in the bush during the war in two weeks. OK, so it's not quite the same thing - but Nine Years, I ask you...

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

It's a totally different thing. Everything about a modern commercial airport is completely different to a bush airstrip. And this work also includes upgrading of the roads, which is a vital part of the infrastructure and had to happen before the airport is open, so this is the very first work that will take place.

12 Nov 2013

Total posts 8

I still think running HSR from CBR to Sydney would have been preferred - Sydney gets the ability to use CBR's capacity, and commuters between the two cities get an additional mode of transport.

Personally, I'm waiting to hear when the election-promised Hobart runway upgrade is going to happen. 

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

17 Apr 2014

Total posts 15

Considering its over thirty years since this was first thought of, I would say it is about time. I have to say though, that too little too late springs to mind. What would you say if I suggested that the new airport should be bulit to replace, not compliment the old airport. Build a mega airport, think big. You could then sell off the real estate at Mascot and I would imagine win a lot of friends and receive a good payout. Surely this is not rocket science. Take a look at the new airport which is already in construction in the UAE. Airports are money for the economy if run as airports 24x7.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

It's still a very useful position to have an airport. It's close to the City, it's actually not a small airport at all, etc. It would still be very useful for things like domestic flights for business travel. While it would make sense for many LCCs to move out west, I think many a "Perth Push" or "Melbourne March" could still be mounted from Mascot.

The location of the Mascot airport shouldn't be underestimated. It's a poor airport in a fantastic location, with good links to the CBD as well as Port Botany. I personally view that moving the traffic westward allows a good opportunity to cool it off, rebuild it and really bring it back into action.

I see the opportunity for a Haneda/Narita or Heathrow/Gatwick sort of split. Both airports should be viable long-term.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 938

I'll believe that they will build an airport when I see that airport.

21 Apr 2014

Total posts 1

I believe Perth airport will be bigger than sydney airport and this new one by 2020. Because Perth airport actually has room to expand, their already fast tracking a third runway (parallel). International terminals will expand with a new pier and more international terminal in the future and all domestic terminals will be attached to international terminal, new freight terminals, hangars, taxiway and runway expansions.

Sydney airport should have been put somewhere else or they wouldn't have had to build a new airport.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 165

Can't wait to get a seat on this flight: MEL-SWZ


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