According to CEO Simon Hickey, Western Sydney Airport will be completed by 2026. Most of the major earthworks have been completed, and the tender for the terminal development is expected to be awarded this year. Hickey says the new airport will bring a host of opportunities to Australia’s largest city.
“This is about developing a new future for people living in Western Sydney and Sydney and connecting us with a 24/7 airport to the world,
Western Sydney Airport’s CEO told the FTA/APEX summit this week.
After decades of delays and studies, work on the airport finally started in 2018. The airport is located 27 miles west of Sydney’s downtown and 25 miles west of Sydney’s current airport. According to critics, the new airport will become a costly white elephant due to its distance.
Simon Hickey, however, dismisses this. According to him, three million people live in the local catchment area, making the future airport the third biggest airport in Australia by catchment area.
Western Sydney is home to one of ten Australians. After Sydney and Melbourne, it is the third-largest economy. It is one of Australia’s fastest-growing area in terms of population, and it will have the third-largest catchment of any Australian airport on day one of operation.”
Upon its opening in 2026, Western Sydney Airport will handle ten million passengers a year. The master plan of the airport indicates a desire for a Dubai-style airport. Western Sydney Airport estimates that by the time the complete airport build is complete by 2060, up to 82 million passengers will be able to pass through the airport.
Western Sydney Airport will not have a curfew. In addition, the airport has plenty of room for expansion. With those three million passengers living within an hour of the airport, Simon Hickeys believes Sydney’s new airport will be successful.
However, the question is, will airline companies come once the airport has been built? Initially, Mr Hickey is targeting cargo and leisure airlines. Twelve cargo operators have signed memoranda of understanding with Western Sydney Airport, including FedEx, DHL, and Qantas Freight.
Despite this, MOUs are not binding, and no passenger airline has made a firm commitment to use Western Sydney Airport. Given the completion date is still five years away (and a couple of lifetimes in airline terms), this is not necessarily surprising.
In this case, it is assumed that airlines and passengers prefer Sydney’s current airport because of its proximity to the downtown area. One flaw in that assumption is that everyone landing at Kingsford Smith Airport is heading to Sydney’s downtown area or its harbour and beach suburbs.