The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) welcomes the findings released today in the Canberra Airport study The Impact of a Second Sydney Airport Not Being Built which confirms the ability for a high speed rail link to alleviate the need for a second Sydney Airport.
Building on the fact that Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport will reach capacity in 2027, needing alternative options by 2030 at the very latest, the study details the benefits that a Canberra Airport – Sydney CBD high speed rail link could provide.
The study calculates a Canberra Airport to Sydney CBD high speed rail connection at 57 minutes and by exploring congestion and growth constraints at Kingsford Smith Airport, identifies that unmet passenger demand into Sydney will total 3 million passengers by 2035 and 10.5 million passengers by 2040.
ARA CEO, Bryan Nye said the study confirms that a high speed link between Canberra Airport and Sydney’s CBD is the solution needed to alleviate congestion issues at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport.
“The reality is no Sydney-sider, Badgery’s Creek or Wilton resident wants an airport in their backyard and with travel times of 57 minutes between Canberra Airport and Sydney’s CBD, high speed rail can set Canberra Airport up as the overflow airport Kingsford Smith desperately needs,” he said.
”By 2037 Kingsford Smith will have no additional landing slots and the Canberra Airport study forecasts confirms that an overflow airport like Canberra is critical to alleviate air congestion into Sydney.
“As demand for travel into Sydney continues to grow, Kingsford Smith will increasingly fail to meet scheduled travel times, affecting not only airline reliability but also the experience of airline passengers.
The Canberra Airport Study found that Sydney Airport flights are affected by weather once every three days.
“High Speed Rail is not affected by inclement weather, providing a reliable alternative to air travel,” said Mr Nye.
“Overseas networks prove the reliability of high speed rail travel where arrival time is measured in seconds and on-time arrival is almost 100 percent. This type of reliability is not something we currently experience in Australia but it is do-able with a Canberra Airport – Sydney CBD high speed rail connection,” concluded Mr Nye.
The study also details the Canberra Airport’s plan for an integrated high speed and airport terminal that would allow Canberra rail and air passengers to transfer between each mode in 5-10 minutes without baggage.