The latest on Western Sydney Airport

20 February, 2019

Sydney’s proposed second airport at Badgery’s Creek recently commenced its initial earthworks and plans to be operational by 2025. WSA Co was incorporated by the Australian government in Aug-2017, charged with the design and construction of Western Sydney Airport. Let’s take a look at the most recent updates regarding this important development for tourism, trade and transport in Sydney and all of Australia.

Western Sydney Airport welcomes inclusion among nation's 'high priority infrastructure'

Western Sydney Airport (WSA) welcomed (Feb-2019) its inclusion in Infrastructure Australia's 2019 Infrastructure Priority List as a 'high priority' project. WSA CEO Graham Millett commented: "The airport will be a game changer for job creation in Western Sydney... Not only will it support around 11,000 jobs in construction and up to 28,000 when operational, but Western Sydney Airport will be the catalyst for higher quality jobs in the region". Mr Millett added WSA aims to attract high tech manufacturing, medical and research industries resulting in new types of jobs for locals, who will no longer have to travel to the eastern Sydney CBD. WSA has also mandated that at least 30% of its construction workforce must be from Western Sydney, increasing to 50% when the airport is operating.

Infrastructure Australia lists WSA as high priority in its 2019 Infrastructure Priority List

Infrastructure Australia released (14-Feb-2019) its 2019 Infrastructure Priority List, with Western Sydney Airport (WSA) listed as a 'high priority' project. Key points include:

  • Sydney is Australia's primary aviation gateway, accounting for around 40% of international services, 43% of domestic services, and 45% of international air freight;
  • Addressing Sydney's airport capacity constraint will improve productivity and facilitate broader economic impacts including increased trade, tourism and foreign direct investment;
  • WSA will also provide wider economic benefits such as agglomeration benefits derived from improved connectivity between businesses (including the clustering of airport businesses;
  • The proponent's stated benefit-cost ratio is 1.9, with a net present value of AUD5.4 billion (USD3.8 billion) (at a 7% real discount rate), not including wider economic benefits.

Infrastructure Australia chair Julieanne Alroe commented: "Many of the projects and potential infrastructure solutions identified in the 2019 Priority List respond to the challenges of population growth in our largest cities, and address the need for frequent and accessible public transport to reduce congestion and maintain Australia's world renowned liveability... Decision makers at all levels will best serve all Australians by continuing to consult the Priority List as a source of informed analysis on the projects that represent the best use of our infrastructure funding".

WSA partners with NSWWRL to consult on airport accessibility

Western Sydney Airport (WSA) partnered (25-Jan-2019) with the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League (NSWWRL) to consult with players and seek their experiences with accessibility and mobility at airports around the world. WSA CEO Graham Millett commented: "They will be a key reference group for the airport's design team during these early stages of planning to ensure we optimise accessibility for travellers of all abilities. Building an airport that is focused on the customer is one of our key priorities and we are consulting widely". WSA aims to be an accessible airport that provides all customers with a seamless passenger experience.

Western Sydney Airport appoints Aboriginal engagement partner

Western Sydney Airport (WSA) appointed (24-Jan-2019) Enable, an Aboriginal advisory business, to assist the airport in delivering its indigenous targets across the project. WSA CEO Graham Millett said: "This is an Australian first – the Aboriginal engagement partner will coordinate Aboriginal engagement across all aspects of the company including cultural heritage, employment, training, education, sustainability and reporting". As previously reported by CAPA, WSA has committed to a 10% diversity target including 2.4% indigenous workforce during the construction phase.

Western Sydney Airport calls for airport designers to create 'wow factor', 'selfie central' terminal

Western Sydney Airport (WSA) called (24-Jan-2019) for expressions of interest to design the airport's combined international and domestic terminal, with competing firms required to have experience designing a comparable airport in the past five years. The first stage of WSA's combined terminal is due to open in 2026, handling up to 10 million passengers p/a. The terminal will be designed to expand in stages without disrupting passengers, with the aim of becoming the largest gateway to Australia by 2060, handling more than 80 million passengers p/a. WSA CEO Graham Millett said: "When they're inside the terminal – that's when we want visitors to say 'wow' – we're aiming for it to be selfie central".