The prospect of a second airport at Badgery’s Creek is something this city should embrace wholeheartedly. Not just because Sydney Airport is nearing capacity – after all the terminal facilities are 50 years old having been put in place when the first jetliners (the Boeing 707) came into operation – nor the fact that most major cities around the world have adopted this approach in order to keep ahead of the game, but it gives a fundamental rationale for the future planning of the city, and an opportunity to overlay a planning regime to what otherwise amounts to urban sprawl, or what today is often referred to, in a kinder way, as organic growth.
A decision on Badgery’s Creek brings to the table a number of other issues which otherwise float about, and allows proper planning to take place. Western urban growth of a CBD scale could be envisaged with the industry an airport would bring; a fast train service from the west into the CBD and linking with Sydney Airport would be an essential; a high speed rail link from Newcastle to Wollongong and on to Canberra with a major terminal at Badgery’s Creek would at last make sense; the impetus to further develop Parramatta and other key nodes between the two would be enhanced.
The further development of western parkland networks throughout the city, and the opportunity to complete road networks, shared cycle ways and other infrastructure could be put higher on the agenda. Of course not all of this can happen at once and will undoubtedly require the next 50 years to get established. But the key thing is that Badgery’s Creek can act as the generator to get all these elements into a comprehensive plan for the future. Without this we will just continue to do circuits and bumps.