You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Second Syd airport critical- tourism boss

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Sydney's long-awaited second airport at Badgerys Creek is critical to the nation's economy and tourism industry, Tourism Australia boss John O'Sullivan says.

"Its hugely important because of the fact that airports are our gateways, not only for international traffic but also domestic traffic," Mr O'Sullivan told AAP on the sidelines of a tourism industry event in Sydney.

"They create jobs, they create opportunities, and we know that from the modelling that's been shared by the government on Badgery's Creek just how important it is for the west of Sydney, which is becoming a big part now of our international and domestic tourism story," he said.

The airport at Badgerys Creek, about a 60km drive from Sydney's town centre, is expected to open in the mid-2020s with a single 3.7km runway, initially serving up to five million passengers a year.

Sydney Airport, the operator of Sydney's main Kingsford Smith airport, said on Tuesday that it wants nine months to consider whether it will develop the cities second airport instead of the four months allocated by the federal government.

Sydney Airport holds a right of first refusal which gives the company the opportunity to develop and operate a second major airport in Sydney.

Mr O'Sullivan expects Sydney's second airport to boost local tourism initially, and than international passenger traffic.

"I think what it does is it opens up domestic routes within Australia. I'm sure in time it will become an international part of the story as well, an international gateway for NSW," he said.

Yanghua Chen, general manager of Xiamen Airlines' Australian operations, is also keen to see the new airport up and running.

"The new airport would provide more slots because actually at peak times its a little bit crowded at Sydney Airport," Mr Chen told AAP at the tourism event.

Xiamen operates 10 flights a week from China to Australia, with hopes to increase the number of flights next year, depending on demand, Mr Chen said.

Mr O'Sullivan and Mr Chen were at tourism event along with other Chinese airline and tourism executives to sign the Australia-China tourism cooperation agreement for 2017.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon