Australia’s biggest airlines – Qantas and Virgin – have entered into Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) that will pave the way for them to fly out of Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.
The MOU means the airlines will work with Western Sydney International to provide design and planning insights, as well as starting early discussions about planning for potential routes.
The parties will also collaborate on integral functions such as sustainability, baggage handling, security and airport systems at the federally-funded, $5.3 billion Western Sydney International, which started earthworks at the Badgerys Creek airport site in September.
Around 11,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase and around 28,000 within five years of opening.
The airport is already driving further investment in the region, including billions of dollars of Commonwealth and NSW Government investment in road and rail connections, including the M12 motorway and Stage 1 of Sydney Metro Greater West.
This Metro service is part of the historic Western Sydney City Deal, a 20-year agreement that will make the region around the airport a better place to live and work, with better transport, housing choice, education liveability and the creation of 200,000 jobs.
Through the City Deal, all levels of government are working together to deliver a modern and vibrant Western Parkland City, an employment-generating Aerotropolis, and congestion-busting road and rail infrastructure, all of which will enhance liveability for people in Western Sydney.
Western Sydney Airport chief executive officer Graham Millett described the MOU as a tremendous vote of confidence in Sydney’s new international airport from Australia’s airlines.
“The insights we’ll gain from working with the airlines will help us build an airport that people will love using,” said Millett. “Australian airlines have long been advocates of Western Sydney gaining its own airport. We look forward to working with them as we deliver jobs and opportunities to the region.”
When Western Sydney International opens, it will be the closest airport for around 2.5 million people. It will also cater for up to 10 million passengers when it opens, but a gradual expansion to two runways means it will eventually cater for up to 82 million passengers by 2063, the size of London Heathrow and JFK in New York.
The MOU represents a significant next step in the development of Sydney’s new international airport.