The Minister for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Anthony Albanese today released an independent report into the future aviation needs for Sydney. The report was initiated jointly by the New South Wales and Commonwealth governments.
The 3,000-page report makes a range of recommendations for action in three areas: to allow Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport to operate to its full operational capacity, to protect and expand the role of other airports in the Sydney region, and to identify the site for a new airport to meet long-term growth. The authors of the report expect the demand for air travel in the Sydney basin will double by 2035 with a total of 87 million passengers to pass through the cities airports . This number will double again by 2060. Not all these passengers will be going overseas and there will be a demand for other airports within Australia.
The report notes spare landing and take-off slots are already limited in the peak hour. By 2015 Sydney Airport there is the expectation slots will be severely constrained at peak times and by around 2030 no new growth will be possible.
The report does not support any change to the curfew and also points out that with the airport already close to capacity, increasing the cap in peak hours would only buy as little as a year.
Mr Albanese advises that the Federal Government will not make any changes to the current cap or curfew at this time. The Government will maintain the current protections for regional airlines and Bankstown Airport will not be developed as Sydney's second airport. Additionally the Government has ruled out the use of the Badgerys Creek site as a second airport. However Mr Albanese has stated the Federal Government will consider the recommendations of the report and any further action.
The full report is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au
http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/aa/releases/2012/March/aa025_2012.aspx for a copy of Mr Albanese's media release.