How will the new airport impact the building industry?

by | Feb 12, 2019 | Livable cities and reforms

These days, it’s hard to walk 100 metres in Sydney without running into a construction site. The new Sydney Metro is well underway, while sites across the city are in various stages of development, including Walsh Bay, Sydney Fish Markets, Darling Harbour, Green Square and more.

The largest and most ambitious of these projects is Western Sydney Airport, which is set to open in 2026. The new airport, as well as the surrounding Aerotropolis and business park, is expected to be a catalyst for investment and job growth, strengthening Western Sydney as a major economic region in NSW.

Western Sydney Airport

The Australian Government is investing up to $5.3 billion in equity to deliver the airport. It’s expected to generate economic activity, provide employment opportunities closer to home for people in the Western Sydney region, and meet Sydney’s growing aviation needs.

British firm Arup Group was awarded the contract to develop the masterplan for the airport, which will stretch across 1870 hectares—almost twice the size of Sydney’s Kingsford Smith. The first stage of development will cater up to 10 million passengers a year, and be progressively developed to accommodate 82 million passengers by 2063.

A new business hub

Western Sydney Airport commissioned Architectus to develop a masterplan for a 191-hectare business park, which will be located 1.5 kilometres from the airport terminal and include office, retail, hotels and conference facilities. Master planning is expected to be completed by mid-2019, and opened prior to the airport’s operational date in 2026.

The business park is a separate project to the 11,200 hectare Aerotropolis and will feature open spaces, outdoor wellness areas, attractive landscaping and great connectivity from the business park to the terminal. It will also have a dedicated stop on the future Western Sydney Airport north-south rail line, to connect professionals with the rest of Sydney.

The Aerotropolis

The Western Sydney Aerotropolis will be an industrial zone of commercial, agricultural, industrial and residential development, designed as part of the Greater Sydney Commission’s 40-year vision for the Greater Sydney Region. It will include nine precincts and make a significant contribution to 200,000 new jobs for Western Sydney.

The Aerotropolis will be the base for aerospace and defence, manufacturing, healthcare, freight and logistics, agribusiness, education and research industries. The $5 billion Sydney Science Park is the first project to begin construction, with property group Celestino creating an internationally-recognised centre for research and development.

The industry impact

Construction of the Stage 1 development for Western Sydney Airport is expected to create over 28,000 jobs by 2031. These will be focused on the construction, engineering and professional services industries, drawing resources away from Sydney and towards Western Sydney.

The proposed north-south rail link will connect workers around Sydney to the airport, creating what is being called a ’30-minute city’. However, industry experts have voiced concerns about the potential shortage of workers in the decades to come. This is likely to lead to an influx of architects, builders and other skilled labour from around the world.

Despite these challenges, there is no doubt that the developments in Western Sydney represent a significant opportunity for people at all levels of the building and construction industry. It is the first of many large-scale projects that will reimagine Sydney and create a flourishing sector of highly trained and experienced professionals.

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