Call for decision on new Sydney airport

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says it's time for take-off for a decision about a second Sydney Airport.

He says cross-party discussion is needed to find solutions to the decades-old impasse and has called for stakeholders to stop using the issue as a political football.

Mr Albanese says his government is working towards a decision on a second airport.

"It has waited a long time, you are right," he said at Sydney Airport yesterday.

"There's been a lot of discussions, a lot of talks - what we need is a decision that sticks."

He said the federal government was awaiting a report about a potential site at Wilton, south-west of the city.

MORE: Airport to reach capacity by 2025: study

Transport department officials told a Senate committee last week that by the end of March they expected to give the minister a report on site options at Wilton and another looking at job opportunities around a western Sydney airport.

Mr Albanese has said he will make these public.

The transport minister said yesterday that during the five years he'd held the portfolio his department had consistently worked towards resolving Sydney airport's congestion problems.

"This is about evidence-based policy and I make no apology for that," he said.

"I don't think I've been shy discussing the need for Sydney to have a second airport.

"The time between a decision being made and an airport opening is not a period of months, or a year.

"It is a period of a number of terms of federal and state governments," Mr Albanese said.

New data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics underlined the need for another airport, Mr Albanese said.

The report, released yesterday, showed that in 2012 the proportion of on-time flights at Sydney Airport was below the national average for both departures and arrivals.

Mr Albanese said this was troubling, since four out of 10 flights went through Sydney and any disruptions there flowed on to the whole country's aviation network.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said Sydney needed a second airport by 2030.

Speaking at the airline's first-half results presentation yesterday, Mr Joyce reiterated that Qantas supported a second airport for Sydney at Badgerys Creek, as recommended by a joint NSW and federal government report.

"It is a very forward thinking document. It explains the case very well and explains the need to do this before 2030," he said. 

AAP

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