Melbourne Airport sees passenger boost in March, confirms 3rd runway plans will be open for comment soon

Melbourne Airport sees passenger boost in March, confirms 3rd runway plans will be open for comment soon
Melbourne Airport sees passenger boost in March, confirms 3rd runway plans will be open for comment soon

Melbourne Airport's March performance results were released earlier this week with a total of 3,161,672 passengers moving through the domestic and international terminals in March, up from 2,948,113 in March 2017.

The airport authority said the earlier Eastern break boosted the March numbers compared to last year with 916,849 people flying in and out internationally compared to 786,978 in 2017.

For the financial year-to-date, Tullamarine has seen a total of 27,915,922 passengers pass through both domestic and international terminals (this number excludes people transiting, and therefore don't leave the passenger terminals).

Nine years of consecutive passenger growth is no flash in the pan. It is an extraordinary milestone and underlines the need to construct a third runway in order to keep up with traveller demand and the needs of the state. 

We are seeing more airlines introduce new non-stop long-haul services making international travel cheaper, with more choices for more people than ever before. 

We know Victoria’s visitor numbers and spend are growing faster than any other state in Australia and we will continue to play a vital role in enabling nation-wide and international connections.

Lyell Strambi, Melbourne Airport CEO

At the same time as welcoming the Federal Government's $5 billion commitment to part-financing a rail line to the airport, Melbourne Airport's CEO made mention that plans for the 3rd runway are being brought forward.

In a few short months we will bring forward our proposal for the third runway, which will set us up to welcome almost 70 million passengers per year by 2038. 

At the same time we are investing in our terminal infrastructure and our internal road network to ensure the traveller experience is in line with Melbourne’s reputation as a destination of choice for international visitors and the world’s most liveable city.

A rail link can help us to realise the full potential of Melbourne Airport, injecting enormous value into the Victorian and national economies, creating and supporting jobs for the local community and putting the world within reach for millions of Victorian travellers.

Lyell Strambi, Melbourne Airport CEO

The third runway project aims to lengthen and widen the existing east-west runway and build a parallel runway on an east-west axis two kilometres south of the existing east-west runway.

Parallel runways will allow the airport to shift to operations which might include takeoffs and landings that are handled by their own runway, therefore allowing a higher throughput of aircraft on each runway or allow dual simultaneous landings and takeoffs.

Many airports with multiple runways switch operation modes throughout the course of the day - simultaneous take-offs and landings or dedicating one type of aircraft movement to a specific runway - namely Sydney in our own backyard and Singapore (2, soon to be 3, parallel runways), Kuala Lumpur (3 parallel runways), Hong Kong (2, soon to be 3, parallel runways) and Los Angeles (4 parallel runways) further afield. 

Brisbane and Auckland are both are different stages of introducing parallel runways as well.

The airport authority has been consulting the community about the third runway plans since 2014 and it's expected the draft of the major development plan will be released this year with a public comment period set to begin thereafter.

Lead image credit: Melbourne Airport

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.


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