Australia's government has confirmed the construction of a second international airport for Sydney. The project is to help generate jobs and economic growth and comes in response to growing passenger numbers.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Tuesday that plans for the construction of a second international aviation hub in Sydney were taking shape. He added the details of the project to build Western Sydney Airport would be announced by the treasurer during budget discussions next week.
Turnbull indicated the new airport would cost taxpayers 5 billion Australian dollars ($3.7 billion, 3.4 billion euros) and would be built at Badgerys Creek about 50 km (31 miles) from the city.
"It's a vitally important project for western Sydney, for Sydney and the nation," Turnbull noted. He said the new airport would become a major catalyst for jobs and economic growth.
Facing higher demand
The hub is to deliver 9,000 new jobs to western Sydney by the early 2030s, and 60,000 in the long term. The opposition Labor party had voiced support for the project.
On-site work is expected to start in 2018, with the airport to open by 2026. Road upgrades are already underway, as is a scoping study for a regional rail line.
The current Sydney Airport is one of the oldest international hubs in the world, with direct connections to about 90 domestic and international destinations. In recent years, the airport has faced growing passenger numbers.
Last year, it handled 320,000 aircraft movements and 42 million travelers - a number predicted to more than double by 2035. A debate on the need for a second airport in Sydney had been going on since the 1950s.
hg/jd (dpa, EFE)