Transportation Planning Casebook/Western Sydney Airport (and City Deal)

Summary edit

The Western Sydney Airport (also known as Badgerys Creek Airport) is one of Australian’s most significant infrastructure project in recent decades. It is a transformational infrastructure project that will offer job opportunities in local community and stimulate the economic in the Western Sydney region. The Western Sydney Airport is part of the western Sydney City Deal to connect the region and the people of Western Sydney to the wold, creating world-class jobs and great quality of life. The cost of initial development was up to $5.3 billion in equity to deliver the airport by a Government-owned company, WSA Co.The stage 1 airport will build a single 3.7-kilometer runway, two terminals for domestic and international, and facilities to stratify around 10 million passengers per year. It is planned to start under construction phase in the second half of 2018 and start to service in 2026. This project will generate almost 28,000 direct and indirect jobs by2031. Expected in 2050, a second parallel runway will be built with increasing demand.

Annotated List of Actors edit

WSA Co. Company

WSA Co company is a new company established in August 2017, which especially undertakes the responsibility to build the Western Sydney Airport in Badgerys Creek in south-western Sydney. WSA Co is a Government Business Corporation and operates under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability ACT 2013 (Cth).

The main works of the project have been divided into three essential work packages. The first work package is responsible for all Stage 1, earthworks, drainage and utilities, airside pavements. The Registration of interest of the first package is expected to release into market in January 2018 and is hoped to tender for a preferred contractor in in the early 2019 and for commencement of construction in late of same year. The second work package cover the terminal building and interface work of airside and landside. The Third package can be related to landside roads, car parks and associated works. Besides, there will be some specific works such as IT, security and baggage handling systems to be released for tenders.


Some privately preferred contractors will take charge of the construction works in terms of the three major works packages divided by WAS Co. Company. The earliest tender for Stage 1 of the project will be released in early 2019. 3. The Forum on Western Sydney Airport

The Forum on Western Sydney Airport

The Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA) links the community, the Government and WSA Co during planning and construction of Western Sydney Airport. FOWSA will provide a consultative forum for the exchange of information. FOWSA members have a responsibility to inform their communities about planning and progress of the project. In turn, members will raise their communities’ concerns at FOWSA meetings. A key objective of FOWSA is to ensure the views of the community are taken into account throughout the airspace and flight path design for the initial stage of development.

The Australian Government

The Australian Government is undertaking community consultation throughout the various stages of this project. The government has an ongoing role that includes site management activities such as boundary fencing, the removal of structures and fire hazard reduction.

Timeline of Events edit

  • 15 April 2014

Badgerys Creek was designated as the site for the Second Sydney Airport by Federal Government and commenced to plan for the sit.

  • 18 August 2014

To enable formal discussion on development and ‘Right of First Refusal’ for operation, ‘Notice to Consult’ to develop to the Sydney Airport Group was issued by Federal Government.

  • 20 January 2015

Upgrading of Bringelly Road was commenced to constructed, which would be the one of the three major roads to serve the airport. Besides, geotechnical investigations on the airport sit were started to profile the subsoil and rock.

  • 19 October 2015

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released for public exhibition.

  • 15 September 2016

The final EIS released

  • 9 May 2017

Up to $5.3$ billion over the next decade to build the Western Sydney Airport has granted by the Australian Government as part of the Federal Budget 2017 to a new company WSA Co.

  • Late 2018

Major construction works will begin at Badgerys Creek site.

  • 2026

The whole project is expected to be completed.

Maps of Location edit

The photo of western Sydney airport

Policy Issues edit

Environmental impact statement (EIS)

On 15th September 2016, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure announced the finalization of the Western Sydney Airport EIS. The Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement is the result of a rigorous analysis of the airport project and its potential impact on the environment.The analysis took into consideration issues such as: air quality, biodiversity, fuel jettisoning, noise and water quality.

  • As the minimum, the airport must meet the standards as set out in the Airports Regulations 1997. However, the design requirement of Western Sydney Airport takes these regulations as a starting point and strives to do better. The airport construction is likely to generate dust pollution, this problem will be suppressed with water sprays and revegetation. Moreover, the airport will incorporate best practice features, such as clean-energy ground support vehicles, fixed electrical ground power for aircraft sitting at gates, and preconditioned air supply to reduce aircraft burning fuel when stationed at gates. The EIS found that the emissions from the airport would be within relevant standards and with a small increase of 0.1 to 0.7 per cent of total emissions in the Sydney basin.
  • The Australian government will undertake a range of measures designed to offset the impact in biodiversity from the Western Sydney Airport. Construction of the airport will require the removal of about 1150 hectares of vegetation. A biodiversity Experts Group has been established, the advice provided by this group will inform the development of a Biodiversity Offset Delivery Plan. The government has also committed $10 million to support Greening Australia’s Native Seed Production Area program in Western Sydney. Threatened species found on the airport site will be relocated.
  • The need to jettison fuel is rare and only occurs when there is an emergency, such as an emergency landing. Although the rarity of fuel jettisoning events, the potential impact on the air quality would be limited by rules. These rules require that pilots take prevention to ensure the safety of people and property and, where possible conduct a controlled jettison at an altitude of above 1.8 kilometers due to the high evaporation rate at the higher altitude.
  • The airport will result in increase in noise. Planning controls are the best way to reduce the impact of noise. By restricting the types of buildings that can be constructed near the airport, the number of people affected will be minimal. Noise from aircraft flying over communities will be an essential consideration during the flight path design process. As the process continues, the government will consider a policy on noise insulation measures.

Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan This plan builds on the Australian and NSW government’s commitments to encourage positive growth in Western Sydney. The new Werrington Arterial Road, and upgrades to Bringelly Road, and the Northern Road are included in the program. The Northern Road in the west will provide access to the airport. The road upgrades will cater for traffic demand for at least a decade after the airport opens.

Employment hub for Western Sydney

The Australian and NSW governments are working to ensure the potential of a Western Sydney Airport can be realized. During the construction, the EIS estimates it will support 11346 jobs. By the early 2030s, Western Sydney Airport is expected to provide nearly 9000 direct jobs and over 4000 in on-site business parks. By the early 2060s, this would mean over 60000 direct jobs and a further 30000 in business parks. Airports and supporting infrastructure attract a wide range of businesses and industries. The Western Sydney Airport site would encourage further investment and jobs growth in the region.

Narrative of the Case edit

The initial site of the Western Sydney Airport was chosen since it was considered the preferred site by a number of studies including an environmental impact statement that was completed in 1999. The airport was planned to build in different stages with the initial construction phase building a single runway. The cost of initial development was up to $5.3 billion in equity to deliver the airport by a Government-owned company, WSA Co. The purpose of building the Western Sydney Airport is to alleviate the pressure of current airport and meet the increasing demand. The transport links will be meet the proposed airport to meet its full potential.

With a $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan under the Australian and the NSW governments, it has started construction of new and upgraded roads for the proposed airport and the residents of Western Sydney. A few options of expand railway was considered to links to the airport and surrounding areas of western Sydney, including the extension of the South West Rail Link from Leppington, Line to the Sydney Metro Northwest at Rouse Hill, Extension of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from Bankstown via Liverpool and Line to the Main Western railway lint at St Marys. For the road connections, a new east-west motorway M12 to the airport, around the current alignment of Elizabeth Drive between the M7 Western Motorway and the Northern Road was planned to build. In addition, two upgrading of current road system were announced. The first was upgrading of the Northern Road (A9) to a minimum of four lanes from Narellan to the M4 Western Motorway. The other one was upgrading of Bringelly Road to a minimum of four lanes between The Northern Road and Camden Valley Way. Furthermore, the NSW government announced in March 2018, building new express bus route running connecting the Western Sydney airport to Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown.

The project will start in the second half year of 2018 and expect to complete in 2026. Initially, the Federal government made preliminary investigations and purchased land near Badgerys Creek in early 1990s and confirmed as the preferred site of a major second airport for Sydney in 1999. However, the project has been changed and delayed due to a few politic issues. The second airport for Sydney was stopped by the Federal Government instead of expanding the existed airport. In 2003, John Anderson, the transport minister, said” following exhaustive examination it is clear the existing airport at Mascot will be able to handle air traffic demands for a long time to come”. In March 2012, Anthony Albanese, the Federal Transport Minister, released a report about Sydney’s aviation capacity need. The main finding of this report was that Badgers Creek was the logical and most cost-effective site for another airport. The report also calls for planning to begin on a second airport at Badgerys Creek, but had been rejected by both Labor and the Liberal- National party coalition politicians. In October 2013, Treasurer Joe Hockey had nominated a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek as one of the key infrastructure projects to stimulate the slowing Australian economy. In March 2014, 72% of NSW voters wanted an airport at Badgerys Creeks. After decades of debate, the Federal Government announced that Badgerys Creek will be the site of the Second Sydney airport with increasing supports.

The Western Sydney Airport will contribute both employment and economic benefits during the construction and operation stages. It is a sustainable project for investment and job growth, long-term employment opportunities, increasing value of the real estate property and strengthening Western Sydney as a major economic region. During the construction phase, it will generate an additional $1.9 billion for the Western Sydney economy, and a further $400 million across the rest of Sydney. In the meantime, 11,000 jobs are created in the construction, engineering and professional services industries. Once the airport starts to services, it will require a range of employments with various skill and levels, including office services and administrative support, technicians and trade, community and personal service, professionals, machinery operators and drivers, sales and retail, and labours.

Discussion edit

Why construct an additional airport in Sydney ? edit

It is predicted that Sydney’s aviation demand will be doubled by 2038, however expansion on the existing Kingsford Smith Airport is not a practical solution. The primary reason is a lack of empty land space in the vicinity of the airport. During the 20 years of Kingsford Smith Airport servicing the public, it has helped its surrounding suburbs to develop such that today a large amount of newly constructed apartments has been built next to the Kingsford Smith airport to keep up with the increasing population demand in these surrounding suburbs. Therefore, it is not practical to expand on the surrounding lands. Of course, there is indeed another way which is achieved by creating artificial islands and land to accommodate growing aviation needs. By examining a large number of these projects in Dubai, it can be concluded that land fill could not only involve large costs in early construction stages but also cause issues such as differential settlement on the runway. This explains why it is not practical to expand the existing airport instead of constructing a new one.

Moreover, having more than one international airport for an international metropolis is the international trend requirement. In contrast to the number of international airports that other international metropolis put into use such as Beijing (3 international airport), Los Angeles (3 International airport) Bangkok (2 international airport), Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport is the sole airport of its city. The construction of the Western Sydney Airport can better help Sydney follow the “international trend”.

How bad does it affect the environment (Pollution, noise)? edit

Air quality and noise control have been set as the main environmental considerations by the government. It is required that the airport must at least adhere by the Airports(Environment protection) regulations 1997. The construction stage is likely to create some dust pollution which could be effectively suppressed by the water sprays. Some odour may be generated after asphalt pavement but this will be largely contained within the airport site.

The completed project will mainly feature new energy ground support vehicles, energy-efficient air-conditioning system and preconditioned air supply to reduce aircraft burning fuel when stationed at gates. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) found the emissions from airports would be within relevant standards and represent only a small increase of 0.1 to 0.7 percent of total emissions in the Sydney basin. As a result of these efforts and measures, there would not be a significant increase in air and noise pollution caused by the Western Sydney Airport.

In addition, noise pollution could directly and continuously harm surrounding residents but it could not be effectively mitigated. The government has restricted the types of buildings that could be constructed near the airport to minimize the harm that noise pollution will bring to the residents. Although using newly constructed aircraft is significantly more fuel efficient (less emission) and quieter (less noise pollution), there are still several aircrafts that have served for more than 10 years with outdated technology. For example, the new Boeing 787 aircraft is 60 percent quieter than the models it is replacing, but Western Sydney Airport would not prevent existing old models to land just because they are not fuel-efficient and louder. Aircraft noise will also be an area of discussion in the Forum On Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA), the Western Sydney Airport’s main community engagement forum. Some noise mitigation measures will be considered for implementation after the flight path design process. It is primarily determined that the blue mountain will be a part of the flight path, the aircraft can disturb residents by creating unpleasant noises to those who live close to the flight path. As the flight path design process continues, the Government will consider a policy on noise insulation measures.

How does it affect local economies? edit

The airport is expected to support almost 28,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2031, five years after the airport opens. The airport will stimulate infrastructure development in Western Sydney, ranging from manufacturing and logistics to hospitality, education and other professional services. It will also stimulate business market by providing a more convenient access to the overseas market. For example, goods manufacturers and exporters of perishable items will be able to reach markets in Asia within a shorter period of time. Tourism will also be boosted such that there will be more tourists visiting Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains due to increased accessibility. As the region in the vicinity of western airport grows, the airport will support Western Sydney’s success on an international scale.

References edit