Qantas, Virgin Australia to have a say on Western Sydney Airport plans

Western Sydney Airport is ready for construction, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Western Sydney Airport is ready for construction, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Western Sydney Airport has entered into memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia Group.

The MOUs will see the airlines provide insights into designing and planning the future Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, as well as having early discussions around future Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tigerair services using the airport.

Western Sydney Airport chief executive Graham Millett said the MOU is a tremendous vote of confidence in Sydney's new international airport.

"The insights we'll gain from working with the airlines help us build an airport that people will love using," Mr Millett said.

"Australian airlines have long been advocates of Western Sydney gaining its own airport.

"We look forward to working with them as we deliver jobs and opportunities to the region."

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said Western Sydney International was as important part of Australia's aviation future.

"Given the size and significance of New South Wales to the national economy, a second airport is exactly what we need to keep growing. The potential is huge," he said.

"It's not often you get to help design an airport from scratch, so we're really pleased to be part of it.

"This a chance to create a great experience for passengers and a high level of efficiency for airlines, which helps us keep fares lower."

Virgin Australia Group chief executive and managing director Paul Scurrah said that the MOU was a great example of industry partners working together to help shape the best travel experience.

"Western Sydney has the unique opportunity to build a new airport from the ground up to meet the evolving needs of future passengers," he said.

"This agreement offers a chance to collaborate early in the planning phase.

"We're looking forward to sharing our ideas to help make the airport a great experience and ensure it supports future operational requirements."

The MOU will see the organisations collaborate on a range of elements, including:

  • passenger terminal and boarding
  • technology and innovation opportunities, particularly around baggage handling, security and customer service
  • airport access, including train stations, parking and rideshare facilities
  • air freight and cargo facilities
  • sustainability, including resource reuse and recycling

Western Sydney International is expected to open in 2026.