The owners of Sydney Airport have decided not to exercise their first right of refusal to build a second airport
at the Commonwealth owned site at Badgerys Creek on the western margins of its metropolitan sprawl.
This means that as already announced, the Federal Government will build the first single runway stage of the jet curfew free airport and seek to sell it to alternative owners before or after Stage One of the project opens in 2026.
The 'first right of refusal' to build such an airport was a sweetener in the $5.6 billion sale of the existing Sydney Airport in 2002.
That right potentially gave the owners of Sydney Airport a long term lease base monopoly on the setting of airport user charges on airlines, their passengers, and terminal retailing prices including car parking fees over the entire Sydney basin until early in the 22nd century.
It has drawn persistent criticism from the ACCC, other consumer bodies, and tourism operators and the airlines themselves ever since.
The decision by Sydney Airport means that once the new airport starts operating price competition between itself and Sydney West airport for airline services and passenger facilities could end price gouging and add to the attractions of a Sydney gateway for surging levels of inbound travel, particularly from China.
Sydney West will be capable of taking full load operations by all existing and planned airliners from Day One, will direct flights over almost totally uninhabited sections of the Blue Mountains by night, and not be impeded by the noise and curfew restrictions affecting the established Sydney Airport, which is close to the harbour city's major CBD, yet inconvenient in terms of access for an estimated 2.2 million of greater Sydney's current population of around 4.7 million people.
The building of Stage One of Sydney West airport is generally put at around $5 billion, with about $1 billion for the first stage terminal.
Outside the airport's boundaries some $7 billion in federal funds have been committed for access roadworks that are already under construction. There is a controversy over the need to connect to airport from its opening date to the Sydney metropolitan railway system, which could be done at minimal cost by extending the recently built SW rail link to Leppington to the terminal with a view to further extensions including a proposed Western Sydney Rail line from Macarthur well south of the airport to St Marys, well to its north on Sydney's main east-west rail line.
The SW rail link itself is integrated into the airport line that already serves Sydney Airport.