16 April 2024

Western Sydney Airport on schedule to open in fewer than 1000 days

| Andrew McLaughlin
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artist's impression of airport business park

The Western Sydney International Airport Business Park (bottom left) will house a hotel and commercial properties, and have its own train station. Image: WSI.

The construction of Western Sydney International Airport (WSI) at Badgerys Creek has reached a key point, with a sod-turning ceremony for the airport’s business park coinciding with the milestone of fewer than 1000 days until the airport is scheduled to open.

To be named after famed Australian aviatrix Nancy-Bird Walton, the airport is now more than 73 per cent complete. With the first runway and terminal building largely complete, the 191-hectare business park will comprise an airport hotel, catering, gymnasiums, shops, warehousing and other facilities.

“Local businesses will have an exceptional new facility at the Western Sydney Airport Business Park – where I had the honour of turning the first sod just this morning,” Federal Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said.

“This 191-hectare masterplanned business precinct will grow to be the size of Parramatta CBD, with its own metro rail station,” she said. “It will be home to a cross-section of employers that will benefit from being on the doorstep of Australia’s newest and most technologically advanced airport.

“Stage one of this project alone is expected to generate 400 jobs through construction, with another 2000 permanent jobs once the precinct is fully occupied and operational.”

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Located on the northern side of the new airport site, the business park will offer tenants commercial spaces of between 10,000 and 80,000 sqm for light industry, conference facilities, food production and catering, retail, commercial offices, and warehouse and distribution.

“Delivery of WSI has injected over $500 million in the region through contracts to Western Sydney businesses, including small and medium enterprises, as well as family and First Nations businesses,” Minister King said.

“Already 250 Western Sydney-based businesses have been engaged by contractors. The construction of the airport has so far supported over 7255 jobs, unlocking jobs for local employees, learning workers and First Nations people.”

CEO of WSI Simon Hickey said the airport and the Commonwealth were partnering with commercial property company Charter Hall to build the first stage of the business park.

“That really demonstrates the joint vision in Western Sydney Airport of developing a precinct here that’s going to really super drive the economic development of Western Sydney,” he said.

“We’ve got three and a half thousand people here today that come to this site to work in unison to create this massive piece of infrastructure.

“I’m really confident about opening in 2026. We’re well through the construction period at this point in time. We’re in really good shape when you look at international comparables about how we bring this together.”

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The business park will have its own dedicated Sydney Metro train stop, which will link to St Mary’s and heavy rail in the north and, in the future, to Campbelltown and Glenfield to the south. Surrounding roads such as the Northern Road, Elizabeth Drive and Mamre Drive have been widened, and a new M12 motorway will provide direct links to the airport from the M7 at Horsley Park.

The airport has also spoken to several operators interested in running the hotel and conference facilities.

“We’re working with a number of [hotel] operators at the moment,” Mr Hickey said. “What I can say about that is that there’s a lot of interest, and actually we’ve been bowled over by the interest that we’ve got here.

“So, it’s not only the vision that we see – actually, the market is seeing that vision as well.”

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