The final layer of asphalt has been laid on Western Sydney International Airport’s (WSI) 3.7km runway, marking a major milestone for the project. 

While construction of the airport’s runway has been completed, line marking and final installation of the 3,000 runway lights will be undertaken later in 2024.

WSI CEO, Simon Hickey, said that placing of the final layer of asphalt helps to tell the story that the airport is well and truly starting to take shape.   

“Nothing says ‘airport’ more than a runway, so we’re proud to reach this important milestone in bringing Sydney’s new airport to life,” Mr Hickey said. 

“We’ve laid enough asphalt to cover 41 soccer fields, around 55,000t of asphalt for the runway of Sydney’s new airport. 

“Our runway’s smart terminal design will provide fast taxi times of just five minutes from both ends of the runway, getting our customers in the air or to the gate faster. 

Mr Hickey said that on opening WSI will provide 20 more flights an hour for Sydney, which will give Sydneysiders more choice and placing downward pressure on airfares. 

“WSI will have the fastest minimum connection times of any airport on the east coast of Australia. With international and domestic under one roof, transferring between flights will be faster and stress-free for passengers.” 

CPB Contractors ACCIONA Joint Venture Project Director, Christian Byrne, said that the team had been placing asphalt for over three months. 

“Over this time, 270t of asphalt have been placed per hour, all of which was produced at the on-site Boral batch plant,” Mr Byrne said.  

“At the same time, we’ve laid approximately 220km of aeronautical ground lighting cabling under the runway. That’s equivalent to the distance between Sydney and Forster.   

“Layers of asphalt have been laid meticulously, often in multiple passes, while quality checks are completed to ensure the surface meets strict tolerances. 

“Specific asphalt mixes, designed to handle the repeated stress of aircraft take-offs and landings, have been used for the airport’s runway. The mixtures and materials used offer higher flexibility and load-bearing capacity than those used on roads.” 

Mr Hickey said that WSI is being designed for growth and will eventually become Sydney’s biggest airport.    

“We will eventually grow to 82 million annual passengers, around the size of the world’s major airports, such as Dubai and London Heathrow.   

“We’re on track for a WSI opening in late 2026 so in less than three years from now planes will be taking off and landing on the runway, connecting Sydney to the world via its cultural heartland, here in Western Sydney.” 

Featured image: Aerial photo of the WSI runway. Image credit: Western Sydney Airport.

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