Western Sydney airport study positive but rail needed: Chris Johnson

Western Sydney airport study positive but rail needed: Chris Johnson
Western Sydney airport study positive but rail needed: Chris Johnson


The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Western Sydney Airport is positive about the project.

The Draft EIS ticks all the boxes for the impact of the proposed airport for Western Sydney.

The alignment has been confirmed so that there is little impact on nearby housing development to the south, the use of the ANEF (Australian Noise Exposure Forecast) noise contours continues current practice and demonstrates little impact on surrounding residential development. The projected passenger numbers demonstrate that the airport will be well used.

The Urban Taskforce initially had concerns that the alignment of the runways may be changed to a north-south alignment which would have impacted upon existing residential development. The confirmation of the northeast- southwest alignment is reassuring for both residents and property developers who would have been affected by this change.

We also had some concerns that the measurement of noise impact would move away from the ANEF system to a new method favoured by federal aviation bodies the ANEC (Australian Noise Exposure Concept), however thankfully the rigorous and proven ANEF system has remained in place.

The projected annual passenger numbers of 37 million by 2050 and 82 million by 2063 demonstrate that the new airport will be absolutely necessary and well used.

The Urban Taskforce believes that a rail connection to the airport is essential and that it should be an extension of the Sydney Metro line. The simplest rail solution is to extend the proposed Sydney Metro line to Bankstown on to Liverpool and then to the Western Sydney Airport site. This would act as a stimulus for Liverpool’s development and attract federal funds towards an integrated metro system for metropolitan Sydney.

The Federal Government under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to demonstrate its interest in integrated transport by championing an extension of the Sydney Metro line which will run from Rouse Hill to Chatswood, Barangaroo, Sydenham, Bankstown and onto Liverpool and then the new airport.


Chris Johnson is chief executive officer of property development industry group Urban Taskforce and can be contacted here.

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