Albanese rejects Bankstown Airport draft plan

More work sought on consultation as second airport process is prolonged

By Rob McKay | February 16, 2011

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has knocked back Bankstown Airport’s 2010 draft master plan and reiterated that it would not take the role of Sydney's second airport.

The move serves as yet another illustration of the fraught path of infrastructure development in Sydney, especially that related to airports, which has been to the detriment of city’s economy but, ironically,
a boon to land transport.

Sydney Airport is bleeding airfreight because of congestion and curfew constraints and Melbourne is due to take its mantle as airfreight capital in the near future.

Albanese, who led the charge against expansion plans for the present airport before he was a minister, said he had not been satisfied that the draft plan gave the community sufficient information about the airport’s plans to allow for proper consultation.

"In its proposed master plan, Bankstown Airport sought approval for up to 32 passenger flights a day," Albanese says.

"This would be a significant change given the airport does not have any passenger flights at present.

"Bankstown Airport is now required to develop and submit a new draft master plan following proper public consultation.

"The current master plan remains in force until a new one is approved."

Albanese has already announced a joint taskforce with New South Wales to report on the capacity needs for the Sydney Basin, including sites for a second airport.

"We have already made it clear that Bankstown will not be Sydney’s second airport," he says.

"The Government supports the operation of secondary capital city airports vital to general aviation, such as Bankstown."

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