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Australian PM praises milestone of new world-class airport construction

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The new Western Sydney International Nancy-Bird Walton Airport has hit another major milestone with construction now underway on the world-class passenger terminal

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today’s announcement marked a significant step in this once-in-a-generation, city-shaping infrastructure project for Western Sydney, and Australia.

“The delivery of the Western Sydney International Airport proves once again our Government’s ability to get things done,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have made this happen. It is already delivering major benefits for Western Sydney, as we knew it would, and it only gets better from here.

The Prime Minister stated that the Coalition will continue to invest in job-creating infrastructure that drives investment and secures Australia’s economic recovery.

“Our total $14 billion investment in the airport and transport links is transforming this powerhouse region, attracting investment and supporting jobs for generations to come.”

Morrison stated that around 11,000 jobs will be supported during construction of the airport alone, and currently around one in two workers are from Western Sydney, “driving income and opportunity for families across the region.”

“Tens of thousands more jobs will be created when the airport is up and running in 2026, and millions of travellers are arriving into Sydney’s newest airport every year.

“The airport will also play a crucial role in the nation’s aviation future, delivering dynamic global connections for the region and opening up even further possibilities for new routes and services.”

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher says construction on one of the most significant infrastructure projects in Australia was now around one quarter complete.

“Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, work has continued to progress with nearly 22 million cubic metres of earth now moved to date across the site – which is about three times bigger than the Sydney CBD – and the airport on track to open in late 2026,” Minister Fletcher said.

Western Sydney Airport / Image: Supplied

The terminal will have the capacity to handle up to 10 million passengers each year.

“With this unique opportunity to build an airport from the ground up, we are able to roll out cutting-edge technology to make the passenger experience smoother and easier than at existing airports, and the security systems more effective but less intrusive.

“The new airport will not only be a state-of-the art piece of infrastructure but is an integral element of the surrounding aerotropolis and the broader Western Parkland city.

“In its own right, Western Sydney would be Australia’s fourth largest city and third largest economy, which is why the Morrison Government has committed $14 billion to the airport and vital metro rail and road links that will transform the region.” 

Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said construction of Western Sydney International’s world-leading innovative domestic and international airport had fastened its seatbelt and was ready for take-off.

“One of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects is now visibly taking shape and is delivering long-term jobs and economic benefits to Western Sydney,” Minister Birmingham said.

Western Sydney Airport / Image: Supplied

“Economic stimulus and job creation in Western Sydney is critical right now. Start of construction on the world-class terminal will see more jobs begin to flow in the coming months.

“Acting to build a second Sydney airport has been in the too hard basket for many years but our government is delivering this critical piece of infrastructure that will lift productivity and growth for decades to come.”

Federal Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh welcomed the airport exceeding its local employment targets, saying the project would continue to create local jobs, for local people.

“Over $100 million has already been injected into businesses in Western Sydney, supercharging our local economy,” Ms McIntosh said.

“The airport will continue to provide more opportunities for local small businesses, opening up new markets and opportunities across Australia and beyond.

“This will drive more job creation for generations, particularly in the emerging industries recognising Western Sydney is at the forefront of fields including advanced manufacturing, research, and space, as a result of the Morrison Government’s investment.”

NSW Premier Perrottet / Image: Supplied

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said the airport would boost economic activity and provide employment opportunities for the Western Sydney region.

“This new airport integrates with our vision for Western Sydney and the future of how people will live, work and travel,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It means jobs for Western Sydney and will create new, convenient travel options for those who live in our west.”

The contract for the airside pavements package, which will include the 3.7-kilometre runway and rapid-exit taxiways, was awarded in September, with construction due to begin next year.

Bulk earthworks are around 75 per cent complete

In addition to the $5.3 billion investment in Western Sydney International, the Morrison Government has committed another $9 billion for the vital rail and road links that will transform the Western Sydney region.

This includes the $3.5 billion investment to deliver new major road infrastructure and upgrades under the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan and $5.25 billion towards the first stage of the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport rail link.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Business

Sleepover at IKEA: dozens stranded amid snowstorm in Denmark

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Two dozen staff and six customers were forced to stay the night at IKEA as up to 30 centimetres of snow trapped them inside

A furniture showroom in the department store in Aalborg, Denmark, became the bedroom of several people who were unable to safely make it home in time amidst a strong snowstorm.

Store Manager Peter Elmose told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid that people could “pick the exact bed they always have wanted to try.”

People working in a toy shop next door also took to the department store to join in on the fun.

Michelle Barrett, one of the toy shop staff, told Denmark’s public broadcaster, DR, “it’s much better than sleeping in one’s car. It has been nice and warm and we are just happy that they would let us in.” 

“We just laughed at the situation, because we will probably not experience it again,” she added.

Another approximate 300 people had to stay the night at the Aalborg airport to keep out of the storm. 

According to Euronews, the IKEA sleepover consisted of feasting on chips and Swedish cinnamon rolls in the staff canteen before watching television.

“It was a really nice evening, enjoying each other’s company,” Elmose told AFP. 

“Everyone had a full night’s sleep, our mattresses are good.”

And when the shop reopened for business the next morning, all the bedding and sheets had of course been changed.

Unmade beds following the overnight stay at IKEA amid snowstorm. Source: IKEA Aalborg’s Instagram

This comes after 61 people were trapped in a Yorkshire pub for three nights last week.

The several people trapped in the Tan Hill Inn during the storm slept on makeshift beds on the floor, watched movies, had a quiz night and enjoyed a buffet meal.

Some guests even claimed they didn’t want to leave the the pub after enjoying the 17th century hotel’s hospitality.

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United Airlines makes history, operating flight with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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The aviation sector is widely known to be a high-emissions industry, with aircraft contributing to a growing pollution problem – but United Airlines just made history, in a brilliant way

United Airlines on Wednesday operated the world’s very first flight that used 100% sustainable aviation fuel, known as SAF.

Flying a jet with more than 100 passengers from Chicago to Washington, DC, the flight was the first commercial flight ever using only renewable fuel.

In a statement United Airlines said: United is the world leader in the usage and support for the development of SAF, an alternative fuel made with non-petroleum feedstocks, already having agreements to purchase nearly twice as much SAF as the known agreements of all other global airlines combined.

SAF has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the country’s vast feedstock resources are enough to meet the projected fuel demand of the entire U.S. aviation industry.

“United continues to lead from the front when it comes to climate change action,”

United CEO Scott Kirby, who will fly onboard today’s historic SAF flight.

“Today’s SAF flight is not only a significant milestone for efforts to decarbonize our industry, but when combined with the surge in commitments to produce and purchase alternative fuels, we’re demonstrating the scalable and impactful way companies can join together and play a role in addressing the biggest challenge of our lifetimes.”

The airline boss noted.
United makes history using 100% SAF fuel on domestic flight / Image: Supplied

Currently, airlines are only permitted to use a maximum of 50% SAF

The SAF used on the Dec. 1 flight is drop-in ready and compatible with existing aircraft fleets, United said.

The flight operated as a demonstration – to see how the jet would perform using only SAF fuel

The 737 MAX 8 used 500 gallons of SAF in one engine and the same amount of conventional jet fuel in the other engine “to further prove there are no operational differences between the two and to set the stage for more scalable uses of SAF by all airlines in the future,” United said.

United partnered with other companies including Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum whose technology enables 100% drop-in SAF, and World Energy, the world’s first and North America’s only commercial SAF producer to make the flight possible.

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World airlines warn Omicron will hit travel again

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The aviation industry has warned the Omicron variant of COVID is set to impact the aviation industry once again

Airlines are starting to feel the effects of the new Omicron variant of COVID, with Emirates and easyJet both warning Tuesday of the risks to travel demand. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

The world’s airlines are bracing for a fresh impact from the Omicron variant.

On Tuesday (November 30) the strongest warning came from mideast carrier Emirates.

Company President Tim Clark warned that any hit to seasonal travel will be devastating for an industry already hit by two years of heavy losses:

“So, I would say probably by the end of December, we’ll have a much clearer position. But in that time, December is a very important month for the air travel business and if that is lost, or the winter is lost to a lot of carriers, there will be significant traumas in the business, certainly the aviation business and the periphery of that.”

UK budget airline easyJet says it’s already seeing a drop-off in demand.

It says resurgent health worries, including Omicron, have prompted people to rethink plans for city breaks.

Though it says the impact isn’t yet as bad as during earlier lockdowns.

On Tuesday the airline reported a loss of $1.5 billion for the year to the end of September.

Scandinavia’s SAS also said it remained in the red for the August to October quarter.

The latest warnings come after multiple countries including the U.S., UK, Japan and Israel imposed travel curbs in response to the new virus variant.

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