Runway plan revealed | Brimbank & North West

Tara Murray

The next step in the development of the third runway at Melbourne Airport is under way, with the release of the airport’s draft Master Plan and the preliminary Major Development Plan.

The airport are set to release the documents on Monday afternoon, with community consultation beginning on Tuesday, February 1.

The master plan, which the airport is required to do every five years, has plans for 2027, 2046 and longer term development.

Both plans confirm a north-south direction for the third runway, which is set to be completed by the end of this decade.

The airport rail link project is also expected to be finished by that time.

The new runway is expected to take four to five years to build in a staged process, and will be built 1.3 kilometers from the existing south-west runway.

It will be 3000-meters long and will result in the shortening of the east-west runway and changes to flight paths.

There will be three different ways the runways can be used, with both arrivals and departures to use the new runway.

Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said the plans were the first step in the process.

He said passenger numbers were set to grow to about 83 million by 2046, with the new runway essential to cope with future demand.

“It’s a really exciting step in the ongoing development of Melbourne Airport, but it’s just a step, it’s not the end game, or the completion of anything at this stage,” he said.

“It’s the first time the community has been really able to review the plans and have their input into the development itself.

“It does not mean the runway will be built tomorrow, they are very long term projects.

“It’s an exciting time and there’s lots of work to do.”

The expansion of the airport is expected to create 3700 onsite jobs and 37,000 new jobs statewide by 2046.

It’s expected that the aviation industry will return to the 2019 level of travel by 2025.

Mr Strambi said the expansion will bring big economic benefits for the state and the local areas.

Mr Strambi acknowledged not everyone would be happy with the plans, with it to impact some people more than others.

There are no plans for neighboring businesses to relocate.

Some people will have less noise from planes than before, some will experience it for the first time and some people will hear more noise.

Mr Strambi said where they could, the airport was trying to have flight paths over green wedges and urban spaces to the north.

Keilor is one suburb expected to be affected by the changes. Residents and Brimbank council have previously raised concerns about the runway and the impacts for Keilor and Brimbank as a whole.

“We are giving as much detail as possible so people can really understand what is going on and give informed comments,” he said.

“There are awesome interesting options we have available and we would be really interested to hear the preferences.

“We are going to go really hard to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of the development.

“We have to be honest at the end of the day. You can not please everybody but we’re trying to find the right balance.”

As part of the consultation process, the airport has designed an interactive noise tool that allows the community to explore future aircraft tracks, different operating modes and time of day comparisons from their location.

More than one million households will receive information about the plans, with community consultation sessions to be held in key areas, including Brimbank.

There will be some in-person sessions, which will also be streamed online, and online sessions.

The consultation process will run until May 16.

A further report will be developed following the consultation, which will include the community feedback.

Details: www.melbourneairport.com.au/runway

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