Australia’s transport minister Warren Truss has approved Melbourne airport’s 2013 master plan, completing a two-year process by the airport.
Under the new master plan, the airport forecasts that passenger traffic will more than double by 2033 to 64 million passengers annually, which will require the airport to build a third runway that could be operational around 2018.
The master plan also includes provision to build an airport rail link and upgraded road connections as part of an overall A$10 billion ($8.92 billion) capital expenditure pipeline.
On the issue of the proposed new runway, Truss noted that while the master plan has been approved, it would be subject to a separate approval process.
“A decision on the third runway will only be made after Melbourne Airport undertakes a detailed planning, design and regulatory approval process, which includes community consultation and examination of environmental impacts including from aircraft noise,” he says.
In 2012, Melbourne airport handled 29.4 million passengers and 215,000 aircraft movements.