Australian Aviation is reporting Australia's air safety regulator is studying the effects of introducing civilian operations at RAAF base Richmond, located west of Sydney, as part of an analysis of the short term future of Sydney's airspace.
The study will look at a forecast period of five years to evaluate proposed changes including the integration of
It is reported that the Federal Government is considering the civilian use of Richmond to relieve overcrowding at Kingsford-Smith airport. The government believe's it will be a stop gap solution whilst a detailed study is carried out on the site for a second airport at Sydney.
As an alternative the owners of Canberra Airport are advocating for the construction of a high speed rail (HSR) service between Canberra and Sydney to allow Canberra to be used as a second airport for the Sydney basin.
Canberra Airport claims nearly 12 million passengers a year could be using the service by 2036 between Canberra and the Sydney CBD. The owners of Canberra Airport forecast Kingsford-Smith Airport will be at capacity by 2027.
The Canberra Airport sponsored study concludes that in 2030, the number of passengers overflowing from a capacity constrained KSA and using Canberra Airport and the HSR will be 2.5 million, and this will boost the total number of HSR passengers by 37% to 9.3 million. In 2035, the number of passengers overflowing from KSA and using Canberra Airport and the HSR will be 4.5 million, boosting the total number of HSR passengers by 62% to 11.8 million. By 2040, the number of passengers overflowing from KSA and using Canberra Airport and the HSR will be 10.5 million – a boost of 133% to 18.4 million.
http://australianaviation.com.au/2012/09/casa-studying-richmond-use/ for Australian Aviation article
http://www.canberraairport.com.au/2012/10/canberra-to-sydney-cbd-high-speed-rail-more-than-viable/ for Canberra Airport release
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2009/11/23/richmond-as-a-sydney-airport-pros-and-cons/ for more information on Richmond RAAF Air Base.