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The Tourism Industry Council NSW’s General Manager, Andrew Jefferies has called for common sense to prevail in the second Sydney Airport debate.
“We believe the current debate has been too heavily focused on politics and marginal seats and one that ignores the realities and needs of the New South Wales economy, the wider tourism industry and the operational realities of Sydney Airport.” Mr Jefferies said.
Today, we call upon both the New South Wales and Federal Governments to review and discuss three key decisions;
Reject Canberra as a second Sydney Airport
The Council calls upon both Governments to reject this option. The cost of this project is unfunded, unknown and would need the expense of new rail line construction, land rezoning, costly government purchasing of homes and land resumptions in Sydney and the inconvenience of utilising a facility that is 300 kilometres away from the Sydney Central Business District. There is not one example of a successful airport operation anywhere in the world that is located 300 kilometers away from a major city and the Council believes that this option could become a massive white elephant funded by taxpayer dollars.
Relax Sydney Airport’s movement cap
Sydney Airport’s operations are artificially restricted by a cap of just 80 movements an hour. The recent joint Federal and New South Wales Government report highlighted these restrictions and identified the airport’s natural capacity of around 90 movements per hour. A simple amendment to this legislation in the Federal Parliament could be moved by the Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, giving Sydney Airport the additional capacity to build additional flights and allow Government the time to plan and develop a second Airport in the Sydney basin.
Take a look at RAAF Richmond
The Richmond RAAF base has been in operation since 1916, however, its operations have steadily declined over the last twenty years with the RAAF moving squadrons to other parts of Australia. The joint Federal and New South Wales Government study identified that the RAAF would welcome the commencement of commercial operations at Richmond. It’s location is perfect for low cost carriers in the same mould as Avalon, Newcastle and the Gold Coast. With a rail line adjacent to the airport and planning for the State Government’s North West Rail linked to the Richmond line, this option could cater for around 1 million passengers a year and be successful in relieving the capacity constraints at Sydney.
For further comment, please contact the General Manager of the Tourism Industry Council NSW, Andrew Jefferies on 9267 6865 or 0417 448 935.