Melbourne Airport announces third runway preference

20-Nov-2012 Melbourne Airport has announced the preferred orientation for its third runway which will be included in the airport’s draft Master Plan to be published for public comment in early 2013.

Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff, said the airport proposed the construction of a new east-west runway to provide additional capacity for the forecast growth in aircraft movements at Melbourne Airport by the end of this decade.

“The Melbourne Airport draft Master Plan envisages that a new runway will be needed around 2018-2022 to meet the demand from domestic and international airlines as the number of passengers travelling through Melbourne continues to grow.

“Passenger numbers are forecast to reach 40 million by the end of the decade, and more than 60 million by 2033.”

The proposed third runway will operate in parallel to the existing east-west runway (RWY 09/27) as well as the existing north-south runway (RWY 16/34). The new runway will be approximately 3000 metres in length and 60 metres wide. It will be capable of handling aircraft up to the size of an A380.

Mr Woodruff said a range of criteria had been assessed in making the decision to select the east-west runway orientation. These included the capacity the runway provided to cater for future demand; community and environmental impacts; operational requirements and the cost of construction.

“A new east-west runway will enable Melbourne Airport to handle more aircraft movements, more efficiently. Passengers will spend less time on the ground taxiing to and from terminals, and aircraft will burn less fuel on more direct flight paths and shorter trips from the gate to the runway,” Mr Woodruff said.

The proposed east-west runway would have a capital cost of around $500 million and a construction period of between two and four years.