The Tourism Industry Council New South Wales has slammed the government for stalling on plans for a second Sydney airport and warned that no action could leave the industry in “real trouble”.
Speaking at the annual Tourism Australia industry update in Sydney last week, Chairman Ken Corbett stressed that limited infrastructure and restrictions on passenger movements were causing “significant” constraints at Sydney airport.
With the debate “again on the front pages”, Corbett renewed calls for a second Sydney airport, branding the issue as a matter of urgency for the tourism and business events industries.
Aviation services are critical in a modern economy. If we don’t get this fixed our industry will be in real trouble,” he said.
Corbett chastised the government for suggesting noise issues outweighed the need for infrastructure improvements, and insisted that the state government should “start planning and building”.
Lifting airport movement caps from 80 to 100 per hour would also help to reduce congestion at Sydney, he added.
“Caps on Sydney Airport can be lifted immediately and can be addressed now,” he said. “The cap at 80 per hour is extraordinarily low and needs to be lifted to 100.”
Corbett said plans to build a second airport at Badgerys Creek or Richmond were favourable options, but conceded that Canberra “simply doesn’t make sense”.
“Canberra is more than 300kms away, so to build a second airport there and travel hundreds of kilometres to Sydney is not the right answer,” he concluded.
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