Plans have been announced for a second international airport in Sydney with an estimated construction value of $3.7bn (AUS$5bn).
The airport will be built in the suburb of Badgerys Creek, 51km from Sydney’s central business district.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was going to back the project as the operator of the existing Sydney airport declined to do so owing to the scheme’s perceived financial risks.
Discussions have taken place about the need for an airport since the 1950s. The current coalition government has said the project is vital for the economic wellbeing of "western Sydney, Sydney and the nation".
The airport will be a catalyst for jobs and economic growth in the west of Sydney, injecting more than $1.43bn into the economy during the construction phase.
It is expected to deliver 9,000 jobs to western Sydney by the early 2030s, and 60,000 in the longer term.
Paul Fletcher, the urban infrastructure minister, said: "A joint study into the aviation needs of Sydney, which reported in 2012, found that Kingsford Smith Airport would run out of available flights by 2027 and would have no additional capacity for the mid-to-late 2030s."
Road upgrades for the project are already under way, and airport construction is due to start in 2018, with the first flight expected in 2026.
More project details will be revealed next week in Turnbull’s annual budget.
Image: A plane at Sydney airport (Damien Aiello/Jebulon)