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Major Melbourne Airport redevelopment on its way

Melbourne Airport has revealed a preliminary masterplan that would see the passenger terminals expanded, additional runways constructed and the airport’s congested transport network consolidated.

Passenger facilities will also be upgraded and extended, with the most immediate project an expansion of the Terminal 2 international arrivals hall, designed by Grimshaw Architects, to commence within the next five years.

The proposals for the future development of the airport contained in the masterplan cover five year (up to 2023), 20 year (up to 2038) and long term periods.

Central to the masterplan is a grand expansion of the airport’s two runways, including plans to develop a new parallel east–west runway and an extension the existing east–west runway by 2023. In the long-term, the plan envisions four runways supporting an annual 80 million passengers a year.

In his foreword to the masterplan, Lyell Strambie, Melbourne Airport CEO said, “This project is critical to meeting forecast passenger growth while maintaining on time performance for interstate and international travel, by allowing us to increase aircraft movements from around 55 movements per hour to almost 100 per hour.”

The plan also proposed to reconfigure the internal road network to create a ground transport hub for Terminals 1, 2 and 3, consolidating traffic and allowing intersection-free access to all terminals.

The masterplan welcomes the idea of a rail connection between the airport and the Melbourne CBD. It notes the airport “will also continue to work closely with the Commonwealth and Victorian governments in the planning and business case investigations for the proposed Melbourne Airport Rail Link.”

In April, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $5 billion in funding for the rail link, with the stipulation that the state government would have to match the funding dollar for dollar.

The route the railway would take is undecided, but Melbourne Airport’s masterplan reserves land for the railway. It also notes that the business case currently being prepared by the state government should “also safeguard the opportunity to connect a future midfield or western terminal by rail. An alignment to the north could potentially provide direct rail access to communities in regional Victoria or allow for a future high-speed rail connection, with Melbourne Airport being the high-speed rail station for Melbourne’s north.”

Note (20/7/18): This article incorrectly attributed the 2018 Melbourne Airport preliminary masterplan to Grimshaw. It was developed by Melbourne Airport.

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