AN AIRPORT functioning at the same capacity as Canberra Airport could be operating in western Sydney by 2027.
A report, commissioned by the NSW Business Chamber, shows that an airport at Badgerys Creek could accommodate three million passenger movements in its first year, growing to 30 million — or the size of Brisbane Airport — by 2040.
With the number of passengers expected to double over the next 20 years, the report explores the economic impact.
A second airport would pour $6.6 billion into the western Sydney economy, under the report's most conservative scenario, with Penrith receiving 548 jobs by 2050.
Former Tourism and Transport Forum managing director Chris Brown said an airport alone was not enough for regional growth.
"I want an economic strategy for western Sydney," he said.
"It's really important to keep in context that an airport itself is no good for anybody, but an airport that's part of a broader strategy for western Sydney is exactly what we want."
In 1986 the federal government nominated Badgerys Creek the site for a second airport and acquired 1700 hectares for the project.
But as the federal election approaches, both parties have been coy in nominating their preferred site.
A joint study into aviation capacity in the Sydney region last year stated that Richmond RAAF Base was also capable of accommodating civil traffic, but would need a significant upgrade.
NSW Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger said Badgerys Creek would stimulate the surrounding local government areas through new business opportunities and jobs.
But the report did not analyse social or environmental impacts.
What it means for Penrith:
548 full-time jobs, $197 million in wages, $387 million output
[using report's most conservative scenario]