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by Tim Beissmann

Sydney Airport has announced plans for a significant overhaul of its road network as it seeks to improve traffic flow through reconfigured terminals and encourage greater use of public transport.

The proposal, revealed in the Sydney Airport Master Plan preliminary draft, includes a new one-way ring road for the Domestic Airport (Terminals 2 and 3) and improvements to the International Airport (Terminal 1) with the creation of a free-flowing road and a new city-bound exit by 2018.

Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather said improving vehicle access to and flow through the airport – the nation’s most significant transport and tourism infrastructure, generating an economic contribution of $27.6 billion a year – had become a matter of priority

“Numerous government studies have shown that while we have runway and apron capacity for several decades to come, it is ground access to the airport that is impacting on customers,” Mather said.

“The plan will encourage greater use of public transport with the creation of new bus and multipurpose parking facilities. We also continue to advocate for new and more affordable bus and train services to the airport.”


The new T2/T3 ring road will create a widened entrance at Sir Reginald Ansett Drive and a dedicated exit onto Qantas Drive, improving traffic flow by simplifying intersections. A new bus and multi-purpose parking facility will be located between Ninth Street and the new exit, while ‘green light’ times into and out of the airport will increase by 33 per cent.

Car park entry and exit gates at T1 will be relocated and a new centre road will be built to create a free-flowing corridor to improve traffic flow. The new city-bound exit will also improve traffic flow for vehicles using Airport Drive.

The proposal also contains a plan to evolve Sydney Airport from separate international and domestic operations into two integrated precincts, primarily through the expansion of T2 and T3.


Mather insists that the Master Plan preliminary draft means no changes to the curfew or aircraft movement cap, noise sharing arrangements or flight paths, access arrangements for regional airlines, and no new runways.

“We’ve consulted extensively with all stakeholders and in particular the NSW Government on developing a holistic ground transport solution,” she said.

“Sydney Airport has invested more than $2 billion in improved passenger facilities and capacity since 2002 and we will be continuing to invest significantly to support the implementation of this master plan to facilitate the 74.3 million passengers a year forecast to be using the airport by 2033.”

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury today welcomed the proposed upgrades.

“Sydney Airport is our city’s gateway to the rest of the world but the congestion that chokes that part of Sydney is affecting how the airport operates and the surrounding area,” Mr Khoury said.

“Today’s proposal looks to improve how people get in and out of the airport while also making the airport more accessible to public transport.

“It’s what the airport needs and the NRMA is calling on all parties to make this upgrade a priority.”