Melbourne Airport third runway

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Priority Initiative: Melbourne aviation capacity
Priority Initiative
Infrastructure Category
Proposed By
Private Sector
Near term (0-5 years)
Melbourne Airport, Vic
Melbourne Airport third runway


Melbourne Airport is Australia’s second-busiest airport, handling almost 35 million passengers and 237,000 aircraft movements in 2016–17. The airport’s contribution to Gross State Product is forecast to increase from $1.47 billion in 2013 to $3.21 billion by 2033 (2012 prices), facilitating 23,000 jobs.

Demand at the airport is increasing and, by 2033, the airport anticipates facilitating 57 million passengers and 348,000 aircraft movements.

With its existing two-runway system, Melbourne Airport is expected to reach capacity during peak periods between 2020 and 2022.

This capacity constraint will inhibit the efficient functioning of the airport, leading to significant delays for passengers and freight, increasing fuel costs for airlines, increasing environmental emissions and consequential disruption to the Australian aviation network.

Proposed initiative

The initiative proposes a third runway to meet increased demand at Melbourne Airport. The three-runway system could facilitate at least 400,000 total aircraft movements at the airport per year, providing sufficient capacity to accommodate projected aircraft movements until around 2040.

In the longer term, Melbourne Airport has been planned and protected to operate a four-runway system

Next steps

Melbourne Airport is currently developing a Major Development Plan for the third runway project for consideration by the Australian Government.