It is not a question of if but when, former Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Corporation, Barry Murphy, told Penrith business representatives last Friday about a second airport.
Speaking at a Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Mr Murphy said there was a very strong business case for an airport in the west, with Badgerys Creek being “the only feasible option”.
“We must do something about a second airport for Sydney or we will all pay the price,” Mr Murphy warned.
“The need is not going away, it is going up and up and up. But we must be clear, in the past there was talk about Badgerys being the new Kingsford Smith airport, this will not be the case.”
He said there was the potential for strong jobs growth in the area, if people considered the airport, not just as an airport but as a city.
“By 2050, full time employment from the airport will be between 35,000 and 40,000 full time equivalent jobs with 60 per cent being in this area,” Mr Murphy explained.
80-year-old Director of Planning for Cox Richardson, Bob Meyer, said an airport at Badgerys Creek made sense from a planning point of view.
“The infrastructure that will be critical is the M9 orbital and the Werrington Arterial,” he said.
“The State Government has planned for the Broader Sydney Western Employment Lands, which falls underneath the noise footprint of a Badgerys Creek airport and would reduce the impact.”
Western Sydney Director of Sydney Business Chamber, David Borger, also made a pitch to attendees to join the Western Sydney Airport Alliance.
Whilst the business case was certainly strong and received well by the audience, Mr Murphy admitted that “noise pollution, air quality and environmental impacts are the big issues that need to be overcome, whether that is through compensation or other means”.