Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in an opinion article in this morning's Daily Telegraph has called for the immediate construction of a second airport for Sydney to ease congestion at Kingsford Smith Airport.

Mr Joyce highlights the fact that Sydney is Australia's most important air travel hub. Delays at Sydney flow on to cause logjams at other Australian airports.  Airlines face daily problems at Kingsford Smith.  At times it can take up to two hours to tow a Boeing 747 from one part of the airport to the other across busy runways and taxiways. 

Passengers leaving other airports on time can be stuck for 30 minutes above Sydney because of congestion. The problems are worst during morning and afternoon peak times.

Aircraft stuck on the ground or in the air infuriate passengers and add to costs, meaning airlines burn more expensive jet fuel. This cost is eventually passed onto the customer.  Outside the runways and taxiways, the transport infrastructure around Kingsford Smith airport is struggling to cope with the passenger traffic.

Mr Joyce has endorsed Badgerys Creek as the preferred site for a second airport for the Sydney basin.

Of the alternatives, the  recent Commonwealth report on Sydney Aviation needs finds Canberra and Newcastle are too far from Sydney, and that Bankstown and Richmond could only play small roles. Wilton, south-west of Sydney, is the next strongest option. Over the past 25 years western Sydney has grown dramatically - the construction of a new airport would give a huge boost to the region. 

Mr Joyce states fears about aircraft noise are understandable, but by the time the airport opened only the newest, quietest aircraft would fly there. With plenty of space, there would be little congestion and little need for aircraft to circle or wait on the ground. for copy of Mr Joyces article. for further information.