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Airport set for 2026 first flights
WESTERN Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airports appears on track for first flights to be taking off in 2026 as projected.
More than 20 million cubic metres of earth has already been moved and shaped, pumping more than $100m into businesses in Western Sydney.
The new airport will offer an exciting and easily access alternative to Sydney’s existing airport, the  crowded Kingsford Smith Airport.
Sydney sprawls out over 12,000sqkm and many of the city’s 5.3 million inhabitants live in the Sydney western suburbs.
And according to specialist media out Simply Flying, the new airport is making a big deal about being “their” airport. In comparison, the existing airport is handy to Sydney’s downtown area and its eastern suburbs.
“This project will be a game-changer for Western Sydney locals who want to work closer to home and have more time to spend with their families, not just in the construction phase, but for many decades to come,” Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey said.
“Construction of Western Sydney International has already led to more than $100m being contracted to businesses across Western Sydney and we are only at the beginning of the build.”
Mr Hickey calls the build ‘one of the biggest earthmoving challenges in Australian history’.
Construction of the airport terminal is now underway and construction of the runways and taxiways will begin this year.
State of the art facilities
The new airport is expected to create 28,000 direct and indirect jobs. More than half the people working at the airport will come from Sydney’s western suburbs.
Sydney’s second airport has been a long time coming and remains mired in some controversy. However, with Sydney’s current operational airport feeling the squeeze space-wise and capacity wise, there is room for another airport. 
Mr Hickey has signed MOUs with various airlines, including local heavyweights Qantas and Virgin Australia. 
Various dedicated freight airlines, including FedEx, DHL, and Qantas Freight, have expressed interest, as has Qantas’ low-cost offshoot Jetstar. 
The question remains, will it be a future hit or future white elephant?
Critics of Western Sydney Airport point to Melbourne’s Avalon Airport, which is also a similar distance from Melbourne’s downtown, as an example of an alternative passenger airport that has struggled to gain much traction.
But Simon Hickey dismisses this. He notes three million people live in the local catchment area, giving the future airport the third biggest catchment area of any airport in Australia.
“Western Sydney is home to one in 10 Australians. It is the third-largest economy after Sydney and Melbourne. It is one of Australia’s fastest-growing areas in terms of population, and it will have the third-largest catchment of any Australian airport on day one of operation.”
For many of the present Sydney-based passengers using the existing airport, the new Western Sydney Airport will prove a more convenient alternative. 
And the difference between the primitive facilities offered at Avalon are a century behind the facilities being offered at Western Sydney.
I often used Avalon when I lived in Melbourne, but it was purely because it offered cheaper flights than Tullamarine. Avalon is more like a bus station that provides flights and is set in bushland near Geelong.
Western Sydney will offer state-of-the-art facilities for passengers.
Sources: Simply Flying, Western Sydney Airport


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Access News is a print and digital media publisher established over 15 years and based in Western Sydney, Australia. Our newspaper titles include the flagship publication, Western Sydney Express, which is a trusted source of information and for hundreds of thousands of decision makers, businesspeople and residents looking for insights into the people, projects, opportunities and networks that shape Australia's fastest growing region - Greater Western Sydney.