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PATA Welcomes Decision on Badgerys Creek – Sydney’s Second Airport

April 22, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) wholeheartedly applauds the Australian Cabinet’s announcement on April 15, 2014 of Badgerys Creek as the selected site for a second new airport to the west of Sydney.

“After decades of myopic dialogue and dubious debate, the decision to move forward with a second city airport delivers great opportunities for the Travel Industry and next generation Australian job seekers who should recognise that air connectivity is vital for 21st century employment,” said Mr Martin Craigs, PATA Chief Executive Officer.

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, within hours of the announcement PATA CEO was asked to give an international perspective in a 4 minute live interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporations (ABC’s) main 24-hour television news program in Sydney, Mr Craigs noted that this represents “a victory for conviction politics over “Not In My Back Yard, NIMBYism”.

As far back as 1964 a New South Wales Government report recognised that a satellite airport to support Sydney’s Kingsford Smith was needed; since then the issue has been exhaustively debated and until now, continually rejected due to the contentious nature of the subject and the potential impact it would have on voters in marginal constituencies.

PATA held think tank “Hub City Forum” sessions on this issue with major public and private stakeholders in Sydney in 2012 and 2013. It was unanimously agreed that if Sydney and Australia were to capitalise on the increasing number of international travellers urgent change was needed. (Note: Mainland Chinese visitors to Australia have almost doubled to 715,000 in the past 5 years.)

The announcement on April 15, 2014 is a testament to the success of aligned advocacy delivered by PATA and its Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) partners, which include IATA, ACI, UNWTO and WTTC. In addition the efforts of many local travel industry advocates, not least Tourism Australia, Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and the Transport and Tourism Forum (TTF) need to be recognised.

The impact of this decision will realise a host of economic and other related benefits both in the immediate and long term, including:

  • Between AUD $11.6bn and AUD $15.2bn in additional economic activity by 2050.
  • The creation of up to 20,000 jobs when the airport becomes fully operational.
  • Both directly and indirectly the airport could create up to 46,285 full-time equivalent jobs by 2050.

Source: Economic Impact of a Western Sydney Airport  (2013 Report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics for the NSW Business Chamber)

These and the many other benefits as yet to be determined send a clear message to the rest of Asia Pacific and beyond, that Australia is well and truly ‘Open for business’. This domestic decision seems fittingly and not surprisingly to have been concluded during last week’s historic trade delegation visit to China.

Mr Craigs added: ‘I congratulate the Abbott Government on its determination and vision in delivering for the next generation, cost effective air connectivity and convenience. We look forward to continuing our work with the Australian private and public sectors as together we build sustainable travel and tourism sector”.

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