The runway at Newcastle Airport serves passenger and freight aircraft, as well as the Royal Australian Air Force’s military operations, including the new F-35A fighter jets.
The terminal and runway cannot currently accommodate long-range, ‘Code E’ aircraft. Enabling ‘Code E’ aircraft to use the airport would expand the flight range from Oceania to the Middle East and the Americas.
The current limitations of the terminal and runway impacts inbound and outbound flights to domestic destinations and restricts access to international destinations in Oceania. This leads some passengers to commute to and from Sydney Airport for air travel.
More than 1.27 million passengers used the airport in 2019. Newcastle Airport forecasts this to grow to 2.6 million by 2036.
The airport is located at Williamtown, which has been designated by the NSW Government as a Special Activation Precinct. This precinct aims to create a defence and aerospace hub to service Royal Australian Air Force combat aircraft.
Upgrading Newcastle Airport would improve airfreight movements, reducing costs and travel times for freight that would have otherwise come via Sydney Airport.
Potential options to address the initiative include runway and terminal upgrades.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).