23 APRIL 2012
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London is not the only world city to have problems deciding on its future airport requirements. Kingsford Smith Airport, on Botany Bay, has three runways, and moved around 36m passengers in 2011. This figure could double over the next 20 years although currently there is no growth. A scheme for a new airport 40 miles to the west was abandoned some years back.
A rail link to the national capital Canberra is one solution. This is what the Federal Government Steering Committee had to say: “The current consideration of a future east coast High Speed Rail (HSR) system linking Sydney to other major cities does not remove the need to provide additional aviation capacity. HSR and expanding aviation services are not mutually exclusive and HSR will not address many of the key drivers for aviation growth at Sydney Airport. The extent to which HSR would reduce the demand for air travel to Sydney will depend on the relative effectiveness (in terms of price, frequency and travel times) of the HSR services offered and the timing of its construction.”
The parallels with the Heathrow situation are obvious. Sydney to Canberra is about 150 miles. www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/sydney
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