WSA Update: How to ensure Western Sydney Airport is fit for purpose

14 September, 2018

Sydney’s proposed second airport at Badgery’s Creek is expected to commence construction in 2018. WSA Co was incorporated by the Australian government in Aug-2017, charged with the design and construction of the new 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.

Delivering an efficient airport access system: How to ensure Western Sydney Airport is fit for purpose

Western Sydney Airport was a major focus for this year’s CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit, where a panel discussion was even included to discuss themes such as:

  • Making provisions for surface connectivity: Does the airport need a fast rail link?
  • Is discussion of a proposed aerotropolis realistic?
  • Financing the infrastructure project
  • How is the airline customer profile expected to evolve – will the airport remain primarily focused on the low cost market?

Western Sydney Airport (WSA) CEO Graham Millet was part of the panel and had a great deal to say:

  • It is "almost criminal" for houses to be so close to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.
  • WSA must remain curfew free "for the benefit of the nation" and not repeat the mistakes of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. Mr Millet said curfews at Kingsford Smith meant that time sensitive agricultural produce cannot be adequately delivered to Asian markets, and added: "Asset utilisation falls to zero with aircraft are left overnight, plus airlines have to pay parking charges".
  • There are up to 150 nationalities living within the airport's catchment area and he expects these passengers to travel from the airport to visit friends and family overseas.
  • The airport will not just be a secondary airport to Sydney Airport. Mr Millet added WSA's remit is to be both a full service and low cost airport, as well as being a regional freight hub.

Moderator: L.E.K. Consulting, Partner, George Woods

  • Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, Executive Director, Barry Abrams
  • Sydney Business Chamber, Director, David Borger
  • Transportation Associates, Director, Peter Thornton
  • Western Sydney Airport, CEO, Graham Millet
  • Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, Chair, Christopher Brown

Other important news

Sydney Airport forecasts 52% pax increase by 2039 despite presence of Western Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport forecast (27-Aug-2018) handling up to 65.6 million passengers by 2039 in its 'master plan 2039', an increase of 52% in international passengers and 48% in domestic passengers. The forecasts also assume Sydney's aviation demand will be served by two international airports from 2026, upon the completion of Western Sydney Airport.

Arcadis publishes report on Western Sydney Airport advocating for digital innovation

Arcadis published (28-Aug-2018) a report on Western Sydney Airport (WSA) and its surrounding region. Highlights include:

  • WSA must focus on using emerging ICT and digital technologies to enhance user experience or it risks "becoming obsolete";
  • Optimal planning and design will ensure WSA becomes the centre piece of an "interconnected, smart city region".

Arcadis business leader advisory and sustainability Australia Pacific Greg Harrison commented: "As a capital intensive, nationally significant investment, WSA has the significant benefit of being a greenfield airport. It is critical to get both the form and function of the built environment right from day one... The risk of not doing it right is that we create a bland, uncompetitive airport that quickly becomes outdated, disconnected and passenger unfriendly".

WSA Co appoints new executive manager of aero partnerships

WSA Co appointed (16-Aug-2018) Stevan Sipka as executive manager of aero partnerships. Mr Sipka was previously Air Serbia VP of Asia Pacific. Mr Sipka stated: "Western Sydney Airport will deliver much need aviation capacity to the Sydney basin, bringing new opportunities to airlines who are currently operating in Australia, and those looking to expand their services to include Australian routes".

WSA Co launches tender for airport visitor centre

WSA Co launched (16-Aug-2018) a competitive tender for the design and construction of an airport visitor centre at Western Sydney Airport, with a contractor expected to be announced in Oct-2018. As previously reported by CAPA, the visitor centre will feature an observation deck allowing visitors to view the airport's construction. The airport will support more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase and WSA Co is targeting 30% local employment during the construction period.

WSA Co marks first year of operations, first major project to move overhead power lines complete

WSA Co reported (07-Aug-2018) the following highlights since its establishment by the Australian Government to deliver and operate the AUD5.6 billion (USD4.1 billion) Western Sydney Airport:

  • Full board complement of seven appointed by Nov-2017;
  • First major project to move an overhead high voltage cable is running ahead of schedule;
  • Three major contracts awarded, including for early earthworks and multi year contracts for delivery partner and project manager;
    • Earthworks due for completion by the end of 2018;
    • Works support up to 300 jobs;
  • Local firms from Western Sydney engaged for site security, site maintenance and for site preparatory activities;
  • Overall construction activity will support more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs;
  • Airport on track to open in 2026.