Sydney is Australia’s largest and most populous city, and its Kingsford Smith Airport is the busiest in the country. However both Sydney and its airport have been facing for decades now issues that could hinder the growing civil aviation market. However things might change as Sydney is preparing for its second airport to open in 2026. Here are the current issues faced by Sydney and its airport and what the new airport will look like and how it’ll operate.
Which Are The Issues For Sydney With Its Current Airport?
Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport is one of the oldest airports still active in the world. The airfield opened to commercial flights in 1919 and has served the city uninterruptedly since. It has helped the city grow and prosper while being connected to the rest of the world.
Also SYD airport is the busiest in the county with the largest number of passengers transiting. It is also the flag carrier’s, Qantas, main hub. Therefore as you might have figured out is extremely busy.
However the airport’s location in Botany Bay, appreciated by passengers for its proximity to downtown Sydney, has become a significant issue for the airport itself, local residents and airlines.
The airport is locked in on 3 out of 4 sides by densely populated areas. This means that the paths for planes arriving and departing the airport often overfly residential areas, creating a noise issue. This is particularly the case during the night hours.
Therefore Sydney International Airport shuts down every night at 11PM and doesn’t open up until 6AM the next morning. This gives some peace and quiet to local residents but severely limits the airports capacity and congests it during the opening hours.
This exactly why Sydney has been in need of a new airport for a very long time. Finally we’re just a few years away from that plan coming to completion.
Image by westernsydney.com.au
What Is The Plan For The City’s Second Airport?
The city has planned and started construction of its new international airport located in its western end. The new Sydney international airport will be called Western Sydney International Airport. The closest municipality to the new airport is Liverpool.
Its location far from any densely populated areas will enable Western Sydney Airport to operated round the clock operations. Therefore there won’t be a curfew at the new airport.
The airport will open in phases, with phase one scheduled to start operating in 2026. This first phase will see the airport operate with:
- A capacity of 10 Million yearly passengers
- One 3700m runway (23/05 orientation).
As the airport fills up its capacity the construction of the second runway will move ahead with the terminal being expanded. By 2050 it is forecasted that the airport will handle approximately 37 Million passengers per year, while when completed in 2063 the capacity will bump up to 82 annual million passengers.
Upon opening the new Western Sydney Airport will operate to alleviate traffic congestion on the existing SYD Kingsford Smith International Airport. Also its will become a viable option for airlines with the need to operate in and out of Sydney during the night.
Image by westernsydney.com.au
What Will Sydney’s New Airport Code Be?
In March 2023 it was announced that Sydney’s new airport will be identified by IATA code WSI. WSI standing for:
What Kind Of Planes Will Land at Western Sydney International Airport (WSI)?
From its opening in 2026 the newest airport in New South Wales will be able to accomodate arrivals and departures of the largest passengers jets.
The airport, with its 3700m runway, should be capable of accommodating weight categories up to the A380 and Boeing 747.
Which Airlines Will Fly to WSI Airport?
It still hasn’t been disclosed which carriers will be operating from the new Sydney airport from its opening. However my own personal opinion is that we’ll probably see the two Australian carriers there, or at least one of them, from day one.