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Published on : Monday, November 11, 2013
Indications that the federal government is close to a decision on the site for a secondary airport for Sydney are welcome, but action is also urgently needed to unlock the potential of Sydney Airport, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said Sydney Airport’s operating conditions are hampering economic activity.
“We would welcome a decision that Badgerys Creek would be the site of a secondary airport, but the reality is that it will be years before such an airport would open,” Mr Morrison said.
“In the interim, the number of people flying to and from Sydney is forecast to double over the next twenty years and the current restrictions make it harder than it needs to be for Sydney Airport to manage that demand.
“The cap on aircraft movements at Sydney Airport was introduced almost 20 years ago for reasons that no longer apply.
“It’s vital that Sydney Airport’s operating conditions are modernised to allow it to meet growing demand for air travel to and from Australia’s premier international gateway.
“A secondary airport is many years away so we need to take steps now to ensure we get the most out of the existing infrastructure to support the continuing growth of the visitor economy.
“There is no safety or operational rationale behind the cap of 80 movements per hour and lifting the cap would make a significant difference to capacity at Sydney Airport.
“We are urging the federal government to ensure the need to modernise Sydney Airport’s operating conditions is part of any consideration of Sydney’s future aviation needs.
“Regardless of when a Badgerys Creek airport is built, Sydney Airport will remain the primary aviation hub for Sydney and it needs to be able to operate to its potential, not with one hand tied behind its back.
“Freeing up capacity at Sydney Airport will help New South Wales and Australia reach the Tourism 2020 goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by the end of the decade.”