Australia's government is continuing to stall for time on a controversial decision whether to build a second airport for Sydney. Prime Minister John Howard declines to comment on progress toward ratifying proposals he has endorsed to construct a second airport at Badgery's Creek but is quoted in local media as saying a final decision will be made "well before the end of the year".

The Badgery's Creek proposal has been made politically delicate because of persistent opposition from local groups such as 'Communities Against an Airport in Western Sydney' that are focused on noise and air pollution concerns. Their opposition continues despite a July 1999 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that showed fewer people would suffer from aircraft noise at the new site.

The EIS also concluded that there was no viable alternative to the Badgery's Creek site for meeting Sydney's air transport needs - a fact seized upon last year by transport minister John Anderson, who said Kingsford Smith would reach capacity by 2007.

Source: Flight Daily News