The Australian Government has approved construction of Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek for an estimated cost of A$2.4bn, as part of a strategy to boost infrastructure and create new jobs.
Located in Western Sydney, it is expected to create nearly 4,000 jobs during the initial construction phase, while the airport development is expected to create 35,000 by 2035, increasing to 60,000 over time.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: "It is essentially going to be an infrastructure package for Western Sydney … that does also involve an airport."
Planning and design work will begin immediately, while construction is likely to start in 2016.
It will take at least ten years for the airport to become fully operational. The government is planning to join with a private sector operator to fund the project.
The new airport could drive an increase in Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) of almost A$24bn by 2060.
According to government estimations, the country would lose out on 80,000 additional jobs and A$34bn in economic activity by 2060 without it.
It will see its first flight in the mid-2020s, and will meet local aviation needs and be a much-needed relief valve.
Sydney Airport is the gateway to Australia’s largest city and accounts for 40% of international arrivals and 50% of international air freight each year.
Image: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.