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Melbourne: Airport to get 3rd runway for AU$1.9 billion to open in 2027

Melbourne: Airport to get 3rd runway for AU$1.9 billion to open in 2027

Someone sees some joy at the end of the COVID horizon because, as plans released on Monday 31 January show, they’re betting Melbourne Airport will need a 40% capacity lift, with a new runway from 2027.

The 3000-metre runway will be located parallel and about 1.3kms from the current north-south runway.

Although currently working on a COVID related reduced schedule, Melbourne Airport claims it was nearing capacity just prior to the pandemic hit in 2020.

a map of a runway
Current Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport in 2042

The current Airport has 2 runways, one East-West and one North-South. (see diagram above)

The 2027 development is part of longer-term plans with a timeline out to 2042, when there will eventually be 4 runways: 2 running North-South and 2 running East-West, with a new control tower bang in the middle.

a map of a city
The 2042 plan for Melbourne Airport

The current ‘cross’ configuration of runways can mean delays and ‘clogging’ at peak times, whereas the additional runway will not immediately be crossed by an east-west runway, and so will help alleviate the problem.

a map of an airport
Melbourne Airports proposed 3rd runway: North South Runway16R-34L

Noise and consultation

The report details which of Melbourne’s north and western suburbs will be affected by noise, providing convenient diagrams. The Airport has also developed a too-clever-by-half online tool to navigate all the documentation, and consultation possibilities:

a timeline with colorful squares
A Timeline to make it all simpler!

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Currently, Melbourne has a great advantage over Sydney because it has no curfew unlike Sydney Airport and can operate 24 hours a day. Interestingly, Sydney’s new second airport out West is expected to become operational on a 24-hour basis in 2026, a year before the 3rd Runway is scheduled to open in 2027.

The Federal government has approved the 3rd runway already and building work is expected to commence next year (2023)

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