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Badgerys Creek airport’s success depends on supporting infrastructure – Jetstar

written by WOFA | May 1, 2015

Looking west over Badgerys Creek. (Seth Jaworski)

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall says the success of the proposed Badgerys Creek airport depends on what infrastructure is put in place to support its operations.

Hall says Badgerys Creek, which the federal government has said previously would be operational by the mid-2020s, has strong fundamentals given the large population of Western Sydney and the support of local businesses in the region.

However, the “variable here is infrastructure”.

“It’s infrastructure that will determine if Western Sydney is positioned for success – or left to chance,” Hall told the Preparing for Take-off conference held at the University of Western Sydney on Friday in prepared remarks.

Hall backed calls for Badgerys Creek to be a 24-hour facility equipped with the latest air navigation technology and accessible by both road and rail links from the beginning.

“It’s essential that we do not cruel this airport with curfews or any other artificial constraint on its capacity,” Hall said.


“Curfew-free status will enable us to maximise the new airport’s productivity, and give it a point of difference from Mascot.

“On top of that, the airport should employ the latest in air navigation technology – systems like GBAS and RNP which reduce airborne holding, cut fuel burn and carbon emissions, and minimise noise.

“All the global evidence suggests that this airport will need integrated road and rail links from day one, if it’s to sustain commercial levels of demand.”

The federal government is currently in a nine-month formal consultation period with the owners of Sydney Airport, which has the first right of refusal to build and operate the new facility. Preliminary work has also begun on the project, including a fresh environmental impact study.

Hall said it was essential that the airport be priced appropriately, warning high charges would stifle its potential.

However, any price incentives for airlines to operate at the new airport should not come as a result of higher charges for airlines flying out of the existing terminals at Mascot, should Sydney Airport become the eventual owners of both Kingsford Smith and Badgerys Creek.

“One thing we do not want, however, is for low prices at Badgerys to be subsidised by higher prices at Mascot, should we end up with a dual-ownership structure,” Hall said.

David Hall pitches in.
Jetstar Australia and NZ chief executive David Hall. (Jetstar)

“It’s crucial that we get this balance right, and I’m sure it will be at the top of the government’s mind in the next stage of consultation.

“We don’t see the Western Sydney airport as supplanting Kingsford Smith – we see the two as complementary.

“Mascot will remain Australia’s international gateway, and maximising its potential is a national priority.”

On the question of whether Jetstar would operate out of Badgerys Creek, Hall told the conference the Qantas Group was still considering the matter.

“Right now we’re going through the process of assessing how the Qantas Group could serve the new airport and I don’t have a definitive answer for you today,” Hall said.

He said Western Sydney had the “ingredients for a classic secondary airport driven primarily by demand in the domestic leisure market, with international services as a long-term aspiration”.

“We are all ambitious for the new airport to succeed, but we should be careful not to burden it with impossible goals on day one,” Hall said.

“Let’s get the planning right, get the infrastructure right, get the pricing right, and let’s make sure this airport can stand on its own two feet as a commercial proposition.

“If those building blocks are in place, then you’ll find Jetstar a willing partner in creating demand, building a market, and generating the benefits for Western Sydney that all of us want to see.”


  • Mark


    The report is absolutely correct. Badgerys simply must be a 24 hour airport or it will be doomed even before construction begins.

  • Chris


    The Richmond to Glenfield heavy rail corridor was crucial for Badgery’s Creek success. Not only would it have made Richmond a part of a more efficient loop, not dead end it would have linked Sydney’s NW to SW. Now that the former St Mary’s Ammunition complex has become housing the N half can no longer be at ground level, dearer tunnelling or bridging is required.
    The Rouse Hill folly is no help whatsoever, stopping short of the Richmond line, with which it is incompatible anyway. The Penrith and St Marys growth areas need a heavy rail link to interconnect the Blue Mountains and their own communities quicker to Badgery’s Creek than is possible to KSA.
    The SW Freight Line and new Intermodal Interchange can feed high value time perishable goods to and from Ports Botany and Kembla through Glenfield and onto Badgery’s Creek in much higher volumes than KSA will ever be able to handle given KSAs restricted site and poor freight infrastructure.

  • Chuck


    The cheapest and easiest it will ever be to put roads and rail in is when it is a greenfield site. At that time all of the workforce and machinery are already there and there are no requirements for expensive and delay inducing traffic management. The government needs to resist the temptation of building single carriageways and single rail lines – this country has a nasty habit of delaying those decisions “until demand is there” rather than building for the future. The resultant cost of building them then escalates far beyond any cost that would have been incurred building the infrastructure properly to start with. It is not efficient use of taxpayer dollars, despite the political and ideological fillip that comes with spreading out the expenditure.

  • Mark


    If the government do this right from day one, within 5 years this airport could be the size of Adelaide airport today. Australians have to shift there mindset, as a city of Sydney’s size has the capacity to have two great airports both serving a purpose.

  • mike9


    what another report !!! this process is beyond being a joke . when will soil be turned ? do we have a start date for works to commence?
    we will still be waiting in another 10 years time .

  • Deano


    Badgerys Creek will never be built….
    Mascot is nowhere near capacity,
    What needs addressing is:
    1) stupid caps on hourly movements
    2) stupid curfew (cheaper to buy up houses at Kurnell and turn into industrial area and allow 24 hour opps at Mascot over the bay)
    3) lengthen 25/07 over the cooks river to allow super heavies in adverse weather
    4) construction of a parallel STOL 25/07 for turboprop aircraft south of General Holmes Dr where the fire station is
    5) Relocate the freight terminal to where the long term car-park is (long term car-park could be built under freight terminal as a multi- level car-park with direct underground link to terminals for passenger transfers and freight transfers
    6) international terminal expands into, now vacant freight terminal for up to 16 new bays
    7) expand domestic T2 east over 6th and 7th streets and move the domestic freight warehouses to a new domestic freight precinct south of General Holmes Drive, linking underground via the new link constructed from the new international freight terminal / long term car-park to the terminals

    Finally have a close look at the next 20-50 years and look at growth predictions on domestic and international routes
    for example
    Sectors such as
    Mel, Bne, Ool, Adl, Per
    Frequency on these routes is already like every 15 minutes
    Growth should be into larger aircraft, not more flights
    Fees on these types of sectors could be per aircraft, not per passenger, watch how quick A330s and 777s replace 737s etc
    WTF is Virgin doing flying E190s Syd-Mel ?
    And regional NSW sectors such as Coffs Harbor, Tamowrth, Canberra, Wagga, could also take larger aircraft less frequently or as capacity grows, just like Ballina
    24hr opps could also see increased capacity on international sectors during the current curfew hours

    All this for much less than the Badgeries Creek which may well end up as popular as Avalon

  • Gregg


    “We don’t see the Western Sydney airport as supplanting Kingsford Smith – we see the two as complementary.”

    Then how can they be owned/operated by the same company? Shouldn’t we have healthy competition? Separate ownership/ops might actually help with any ‘cross subsidy’ concerns.

    … and if there is some logic to applying a curfew to KSA then shouldn’t we apply the same logic to Badgeries Creek? Make them both 24hr ops. I can hear the shudders from eastern suburbs residents and pollies already.

    “The report is absolutely correct. Badgerys simply must be a 24 hour airport or it will be doomed even before construction begins”

    KSA may be ‘constrained’ but it is far from ‘doomed’ What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    … and yes I’m a proud westy, but I have an understanding of the importance of a good and healthy aviation sector to the economy. I’m actually looking forward to it (although as I age, fast running out of time to experience it). Let’s just make it fair for all concerned and not continue to allow it to be an ‘us verses them’ as it seems to have been for an all too long a time period. Even out the playing field please. That may help it gain more community acceptance.

  • Mike


    What’s the point of building a multi billion dollar airport that nobody actually wants and making it a 24 hour facility when making the existing airport a 24 hour facility and removing the hourly movement cap would defer the need for a second Sydney airport for another 50 years.

  • David W


    If it is to be viable , even as a back up to Sydney operations. The latest in Airport landing aids and no curfew are essential. I have heard of flights to Sydney diverted only due to missing the curfew by minutes and they were flights on final approach. Plus a pubic transport, via train and bus are needed not just to get people to and from Badgery’s Creek. But between Badgery’s Creek and Sydney and be mutually supportive., as well.

  • Corey


    The airport need to be built now and to not under take the environmental impact studies again. Look at Wellcamp airport. It took them 18 months from to design to first flights landing 18 months People. That’s why all new airports should be privately funded. Here on the Sunshine Coast we’re still waiting on the new East-West runway 13/31 which will be 2450m long and 45m wide meeting a Code E status allowing for A330s, B787s-747s and fully loaded flights to NY via B777-200LRs. The new runway would be safer and better for everyone one since the current runway 18/36 is 1797m long and 30m wide and doesn’t even allow for B737-8 and A320-200 MTOW take offs. I’d like to see the new runway 13/31 extended by 350m+ to be 2.8lm long and widened by 15m to be 60m wide and meet a Code 4F runway. This would allow for diversions of all aircraft types if Brisbane or other airports were closed and that other airports would cost more money to divert to. Also at the SC airport there will have to be a new large apron to handle the larger aircraft with potential room for a large open apron area north of runway 13/31 along with a new terminal with aero bridges capable of handling A330 and 787/777 aircraft.

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