While we continue to get nonsense from the NSW government and the federal government and opposition in their evasions concerning the Sydney Airport crisis, a memo, in effect has arrived from Singapore.
The city state is doubling the size of its airport, to handle more than 100 million passengers a year in the coming decade, by which time Sydney will no doubt continue to flounder around protecting the interest of the current airport owners, and maybe wonder why it has declined toward much reduced relevance to the NSW and Australian economy.
And comedy capers, in which Tigerair flies to Richmond, the least convenient part of the Sydney sprawl by any measure, will just be one of the bad jokes of the past.
There are so many things that the Singapore announcement tells Sydney, if its political managers care to listen instead of mucking around with toy train tunnels and half witted harbour helicopter fiascos.
But one of them is very direct. It’s the Asian Century. If you want to participate in it you have to build the necessary infrastructure, in Sydney, and not stuff around with hugely wasteful exercises in looking for runway sites in the canyons, water catchments and coal mining precincts of Wilton when a really good site is already owned by the Commonwealth at Badgerys Creek.
The other is less direct, but if the various reports from Singapore are found and read, it is apparent that even being as deeply embedded in Asia as Singapore is doesn’t guarantee or deliver full participation in the Asian Century. Singapore, and its airline, are in a massive struggle to keep what it has, and grow it to its potential.
Sydney Airport took 36.9 million passengers to 31 December 2012. The infographic for Singapore Airport below shows it served over 51 million travellers.