|It’s a nationwide issue that needs a nationwide resolution. Image: Sydney Airport|
Aviation leaders may agree that it’s time for change, but they’re still tossing the ball over a second Sydney Airport.
Although aviation leaders, along with the government, may control the future of Sydney’s second gateway, industry experts say perhaps it’s not up to airline and airport leaders to decide whether Sydney needs a second airport, but perhaps as a nation, Australians need to recognise the national losses they face without a solution and call for action.
Speaking at the PATA Hub City Forum in Sydney this week, CAPA-Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison said the idea for a second gateway was introduced in 1969 and although it seen as primarily a Sydney issue, it calls for national concern.
According to Mr Harbison, without a second Sydney airport, Australia is at risk of losing up to $60 billion in forgone expenditure as well as $34 billion in gross domestic product.
Predictions also highlight that Sydney is expected to welcome more than 180 million passengers by 2060, but “where are we going to put them?” he asked.
“Although it was necessary to find a solution 44 years ago, it is critical for something to be done today,” Mr Harbison added.
Meanwhile, Sydney Airport Corporation director of aviation Shelley Roberts said although a second airport would help ease congestion in the long haul, short term solutions including a few policy changes could open up new slots and attract more tourism.
Currently Sydney Airport regulations only allow for 24 aircraft movements between the hours of 5.00am and 6.00am, despite the original Airports Act allowing for up to 35 aircraft movements.
Meanwhile between 23.00 and 24.00 the Airports Act allows for 40 aircraft movements but regulations allow for none.
Ms Roberts said restoring the shoulder periods to levels cleared in the Airports Act would increase the number of slots available and attract more international carriers to the city.
“These are the times of day where Sydney will have the opportunity to link into connections in the Middle Eastern markets and Asian markets that would feed into all the other source markets that they’re accessing,” she explained.
“At the moment Sydney is losing out to Melbourne because those carriers are flying to Melbourne in those hours of the day.”
Time for a change or leave it as is? Leave a comment below and let us know if you think it’s time for a solution.