The Australian Government and the Sydney Airport Group have closed a nine-month consultation regarding the construction of a new airport in Western Sydney.
The new Badgerys Creek Airport is being planned to accommodate the growing passenger flow in the region.
Located 56km west southwest of the Sydney central business district, the construction project is expected to generate around 4,000 jobs in the initial phase, and increase to 35,000 by 2035.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said: "We expect a Western Sydney airport, which could open for business within a decade, will handle up to five million passengers in its first year and grow steadily over time.
"An airport for Western Sydney will be a full-service airport capable of handling both domestic and international flights, meaning for the first time Western Sydney residents would be able to access air services quickly and easily."
The government has awarded the first opportunity to develop and operate the airport to Kingsford Smith that owns the Sydney airport as part of the terms of the 2002 sale agreement for Sydney Airport.
According to Truss, the consultation involved 65 meetings where both parties discussed their respective views on the project.
During the period, the government also initiated further studies to ensure full benefits could be delivered to the Western Sydney community.
"To support the consultations with Sydney Airport Group, detailed planning and analysis for an operational airport by the mid-2020s is progressing at pace, including the commencement of a new and robust environmental assessment.
"The new airport environmental impact assessment involves a comprehensive examination of the site, including biodiversity and European and Indigenous heritage features, as well as updated noise contours and the development of flight paths," Truss added.
An environmental impact statement regarding the project is expected to be made accessible to the public for their opinions, later in the year.
The government aims to put forth a proposal setting out the project terms, including technical specifications, contractual terms and a construction timetable, to Sydney Airport Group as early as the end of this year.