With Melbourne’s population expected to reach 7 million by 2050, the demand on our two major airports, Tullamarine and Avalon, will only continue to grow. VTIC believes the State Government should consider identifying a site for the construction of a third airport to Melbourne’s south east, to serve the rapidly expanding region and boost local tourism.
New residences and businesses are being established in and around Cranbourne, Narre Warren and Pakenham and it can be difficult for people in this area to access Tullamarine and Avalon, located to the north and west of Melbourne’s CBD.
An airport to the south east, which was suggested at the VECCI Ideas Forum late last year, would increase access for these business owners and residents, as well as those in the Gippsland area, and boost visitation in these regions.
The airport need not be large and compete with Tullamarine and Avalon, but complement them by providing services only to major cities and nearby regional destinations.
Small airports already exist at Tooradin and Tyabb that could potentially be used as a site for the airport. If these are unsuitable, the airport could potentially be built in West or South Gippsland.
At the very least, it would be worth a cost-benefit analysis and long-term planning to assess the idea’s merit. Cities like London and New York are far better off for having multiple airports servicing their cities, with smaller satellite airports complementing their major international hubs of Heathrow and JFK.
As Melbourne’s population reaches 7 million in less than 40 years, it would be prudent to start planning now, and consider a third airport as part of Victoria’s long-term future.
VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone spoke to Sky News about the need to start planning for a third Melbourne airport – view the interview here.