SMH: Qantas backs second Sydney airport

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Airlines, Asia, Australia
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The head of Australia’s biggest airline Qantas has backed the federal government’s push to build a second major airport in Sydney.

Sydney Airport isn't big enough. Photo: Peter Braig

Sydney Airport isn't big enough. Photo: Peter Braig

Qantas’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, has backed calls from the federal government for urgent action to be taken on a second airport for Sydney, declaring that “we just need to get on and do it”.

With the federal and state governments split over the need for another airport in the Sydney basin, Mr Joyce said Qantas believed that both the city and the country needed another airport to cope with an expected surge in demand for flights to Australia’s tourism gateway.

“Sydney is a very important hub…and in the longer term there is absolutely a need for it,” he told reporters at Sydney Airport today.

“Anybody (who) does any projections would know that we have to have a second Sydney airport for the economic development of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia…and we are big supporters of that happening.”

However, Mr Joyce would not be drawn on where in the Sydney basin a second airport should be sited.

Sydney Airport has repeatedly insisted that it has the ability to cope with increased demand for flights until at least 2050 through the use of bigger aircraft and efforts to make its facilities more efficient.

The airport has been attempting to garner support for a makeover planned for the next eight years that would remove the split between the domestic and international terminals.

Mr Joyce said Qantas was “fully supportive” of recent moves by Anthony Albanese, the federal Transport Minister, to kickstart planning for another airport.

“We have been talking about it for a long time. I think we just need to get on and do it,” he said.

The federal Tourism Minister, Martin Ferguson, also emphasised the need for decisive action to ensure a second airport is built, highlighting the length of time it would take because of the need for a detailed planning process, environmental considerations and community consultation.

Read the full story from the Sydney Morning Herald (Business Day section)…..

Matt O’Sullivan
April 13, 2012 – 12:11PM


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