Sydney's next airport on the central coast? Maybe, maybe not
An interesting and perhaps crucial advantage of the proposed Central Coast site is that Sydney Airport's owner would not have first right of refusal to extend their price gouging monopoly to it, since they only have first dibs on a new jet airport in the Sydney basin.
The proposal, reported in The Telegraph, would make much more sense as an alternative to Newcastle’s existing and fast growing civil terminal, which is located uncomfortably within the Williamtown RAAF base, which is also under acute pressure from increased military movements, and has first dibs.
It could also be a significant economic boost for the Gosford-Wyong area, in part by taking economic activity off Sydney, but not, as is the risk with the impasse over a second airport in the Sydney basin, out of NSW to QLD, VIC or the ACT.
But it doesn’t really address Sydney’s needs if it is to handle the demands of the Asia Century, as it is too far from most of Sydney, even if you believe in the fairy tale of a super fast, ultra short rail link before our youngest children have lived out their natural life spans around the turn of the 22nd century.
The Badgerys Creek site in Sydney’s west, through a remarkable accident of planning, is easy to connect to the existing low speed but perfectly adequate metro rail network by slightly further extending the already nearly completed SW Rail link to Leppington, which is in effect, a 20 minute non-stop extension to the current airport line from its Sydney Airport stations and the Wolli Creek interchange.
An interesting and perhaps crucial advantage of the proposed Central Coast site is that Sydney Airport’s owner would not have first right of refusal to extend their price gouging monopoly to it, since they only have first dibs on a new jet airport in the Sydney basin.
Since Newcastle airport has a very finite future as a tenant within an air force base, there is a good case to build both the Central Coast and Badgerys Creek airports, without getting hung up over high speed rail or other distractions, and definitely, without any cost to the public purse, but as entirely privately funded ventures.
Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.