AN AIRPORT at Badgerys Creek is the only way to create jobs in western Sydney, aviation and urban planners told a Penrith Chamaber of Commerce function on Friday.
The Sydney Business Chamber's Western Sydney director, David Borger, said that without significant job creation, 200,000 people in western Sydney would continue travelling out of the region to work every day.
Cox Richardson planning director Bob Myer said the jobs deficit would worsen if there were no solution.
"By 2036, the jobs shortfall in western Sydney will be 321,000 and by 2061, 500,000," Mr Myer said. "Something has to be done."
He said industry and urban centres were in the past often built around railway stations and seaports.
"These days airports are becoming centres for hotels and other businesses," Mr Myer said. "Cities are being built around airports."
Mr Borger said Deloitte Economics estimated that a second Sydney airport would create tens of thousands of jobs between 2027 and 2050.
"We'd like to hear other ideas for job creation and we're happy to talk about the airport, but we want the discussion based on facts," Mr Borger said.
Former Federal Airports Corporation chief executive Barry Murphy said there was no realistic alternative to building Badgerys Creek airport.
"It represents a golden opportunity for western Sydney," Mr Murphy said. "An airport should serve as a cornerstone of investment.
"There is cheaper land here and an available workforce."
He said Deloitte Economics reckoned the airport's construction would create an extra 470 small businesses by 2030 and more than 5000 by 2050.
"The only excuse [for not building] is it's too hard for today's politicians," Mr Murphy said.
"But doing nothing is not an option; it must start and start soon."