Sydney airport given more time for master plan

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Sydney airport will only have to submit its master plan this December, after settling a dispute with the country's transport minister in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Minister Anthony Albanese had, last year, brought forward the airport's 20-year master plan deadline by a year from 19 June 2014 to July 2013. This prompted the airport to seek a review of his decision with the tribunal, saying that the revised deadline gives it little time to prepare for the comprehensive document and to seek consultation.

"The new vision concept to transform Sydney airport into two common-use terminal precincts is an opportunity to improve the efficiency and productivity of the nation's most important transport infrastructure asset," says its chief executive Kerrie Mather.

"A master plan is a 20-year land-use plan for the terminals and airfield, which includes a ground transport report. We'll use the additional time to consult broadly and extensively, focusing particularly on improving transport links to the airport," she adds.

The airport adds that it will release a preliminary draft of its master plan for public consultation in the middle of the year.

Albanese first made the decision to bring forward the master plan deadline after an independent study recommended a site to be identified for a new airport in Sydney to meet long-term growth demands for travel into the country's main gateway. The report forecast that passenger demand in the Sydney region will more than double by 2035 to 87 million, and then, it will double again by 2060.