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Airport flights, passengers and road traffic set to take off

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The number of aircraft using Adelaide Airport will increase by more than a third to 168,000 within 20 years, with passenger and freight numbers and pressure on nearby roads all set to jump dramatically under forecasts set out in the airport’s draft masterplan.

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The preliminary draft master plan, released today, reveals Adelaide Airport Limited’s growth expectations for the 785ha site from 2019 to 2039.

The plan – which is the airport’s key planning document to 2027 but sets out its long-term vision – says airport use and numbers have climbed steadily in recent years, with the airport itself now employing more 7000 people and generating $2.98 billion a year, equal to 3.1 per cent of SA’s Gross State Product.

While the site, six kilometres from the CBD, last year handled 106,000 total aircraft movements, that was predicted to climb to 168,000 per year within two decades.

The 1.1 million international passengers who passed through its gates in 2017 is also expected to increase to three million, while the number of domestic passengers is forecast to jump from seven million to 15 million, with regional passengers also tipped to double, to 1.1 million.

Total passenger numbers were expected to increase by 130 per cent, from eight million to 19 million.

The amount of freight flying in and out of Adelaide is also predicted to leap, from 58,000 tonnes last year to 146,000 tonnes by 2039.

Heavier airport use is expected to impact roads leading to it, with 54,000 daily vehicle movements in and out of the site last year expected to increase to up to 126,000 a day within 20 years.

The draft plan says that while the airport’s current two runways will be able to handle the extra flight demand for 20 years, within the existing curfew, land was reserved within the site for an extra runway should it one day be required.

However, the extra demand for incoming and outbound freight required work to secure easier, more efficient road access.

“As Adelaide Airport grows, it is essential that ground transport infrastructure is expanded or developed to cater for this growth,” it said.

“Adelaide Airport will continue to work closely with the South Australian Government and surrounding Local Government Authorities to make sure future Adelaide Airport operations are reflected in strategic network planning.”

The plan said AAL was developing the Airport East Precinct as a major freight, transport and logistics hub, and it was exploring the potential for two roads which currently end at the airport perimeter to be extended to enable freight access.

“Development of the Airport East Precinct should provide for a possible future road link between Richmond and Morphett/Deeds Roads, and also between Richmond Road and the Terminals & Business Precinct,” it said.

The first eight years of the master plan to 2027 would also focus on expanding Terminal 1 to the north-east to upgrade international arrivals and departures, with further expansion to the south-west to follow.

AAL was also looking at further commercial development along the airport’s Tapleys Hill Rd and West Beach Rd perimeters.

Submissions to the master plan can be made from today until October 28.

They will be considered by AAL and updates made before the draft master plan is submitted to the Federal Government for approval.

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