PM visits airport site as runway construction begins

Scott Morrison at the airport construction site today. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Construction is officially underway on the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport runway.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was at the airport site this morning to confirm the milestone.

Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey said cutting-edge technology and innovative design will come together on the airfield to set a new benchmark for air travel in Australia.

“Not only are we building Australia’s best airport terminal – we’re building Australia’s best runway, delivering a travel experience that will be unrivalled in this country,” Mr Hickey said.

“Our airfield’s design means we’ll safely get planes in the air or to the gates faster.

“At Western Sydney International, we’ll get passengers on their way sooner, whether that’s getting to your meeting on time or arriving home to loved ones.

“Passengers and airlines will love using Western Sydney International because the experience we deliver will be seamless, safe and reliable from start to finish.”

Simon Hickey. Photo: Megan Dunn.

Mr Hickey said the efficient design of the 3.7km runway and rapid-exit taxiways, enabled by the latest technology, will reduce taxi and holding times, preventing delays on the tarmac that can be frustrating for passengers and costly for airlines.

WSI’s runway will handle the full range of commercial aircraft, including the new generation of ultra-long-haul airliners like the A350-1000 and Boeing 777X.

WSI will be the only airport in Sydney equipped with a modern CAT III-B instrument landing system.

“Western Sydney International will continue operating safely in foggy conditions that currently shut down Sydney’s skies,” Mr Hickey said.

“Our airfield will be future-ready, designed for expansion with consideration for emerging technologies such as electric aircraft.”

Sustainability will remain a key focus on the airfield as well as in the terminal, with the efficient design reducing fuel burn and emissions. Lighting will be LED with recycled content used for construction wherever possible.

Scott Morrison at the airport construction site today. Photo: Megan Dunn.

Crushed sandstone from tunnelling projects across Sydney will be reused as a high-strength foundation to support construction of the runway, taxiways and roads.

Along with the runway and taxiways, airfield construction will include more than 40 kilometres of roads and the installation of 3000 aeronautical ground lights.

It also includes 90 kilometres of power and fibre optic cabling to electrify the airport and enable the delivery of tomorrow’s technology to what will be Australia’s new gateway to the world.

Airfield construction is expected to create around 1,200 direct jobs and support many more indirect jobs through flow-on benefits to suppliers, subcontractors and the local economy.

Western Sydney International is on track to open to international, domestic and air cargo services in late 2026.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new airport was already having a major impact on the region, and there was plenty more job creation and economic benefits to come.

“Our Government is delivering record investment in infrastructure in Western Sydney and Australia, creating much-needed jobs, new investment and economic growth,” the Prime Minister said.

“It is only because of the actions of our Government that the Western Sydney Airport is being built.

Simon Hickey, Scott Morrison and Melissa McIntosh. Photo: Megan Dunn.

“After six years of inaction by Anthony Albanese, Labor’s Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, it took our Coalition Government to get Western Sydney Airport off the ground, proving once again that is our Government that has the proven track record of getting things done.

“This project will change Western Sydney for generations to come, opening up new careers and opportunities well into the future with around 11,000 jobs expected to be supported over the course of construction of the airport, and tens of thousands more to be created once it opens in late 2026.

“Our Government is backing this project and the people of Western Sydney, as part of our plan for a stronger future for Australia.”

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