Sydney airport plans terminal consolidation

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Sydney airport plans to consolidate its three terminals into two enlarged terminal precincts that will be able to cope with a doubling of passenger numbers by 2033.

The airport has laid out its intentions in its preliminary draft master plan (PDMP), which is now out for public comment.

The airport expects passenger volumes will rise from 37 million last year to 74 million by 2033, based on an annual compound growth rate of 3.4%. It also expects aircraft movements to grow by an annual compound growth rate of 1.2% to 409,500 over the same period.

To cope with the increased traffic, the airport proposes to consolidate its terminals around two precincts that would serve both international and domestic passengers. The existing domestic terminals - T2 and T3 - will become one terminal. The other precinct would be centered on T1, which is currently only used for international services.

Chief executive Kerrie Mather says that the enlarged integrated terminals would "vastly improve the experience for passengers transferring between regional and international or domestic services."

The PDMP also proposes a number of changes to ground transport to improve traffic flow and accessibility to the terminal precincts.

It does not, however, include the addition of any new runways, and also assumes that the present curfew and hourly movements cap are retained.

The airport adds that there will also be no change to the access that regional carriers, such as Regional Express, will have to the airport. This has allayed fears that they may be forced to move in the future to the smaller Bankstown airport to allow for the growth of larger carriers.

Submissions on the PDMP can be made until 30 August, after which it will be submitted to Canberra for approval by the country's transport minister, approval is expected by the end of the year.