Newcastle airport capacity expansion

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Newcastle airport capacity expansion

Newcastle aviation capacity
Early-stage proposal (Stage 1)
Newcastle, NSW
Smaller cities and regional centres
Regional Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Longer term (10-15 years)
Proposed By
Newcastle Airport PTY LTD
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2021
Newcastle Airport capacity expansion


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 proposal include runway and terminal upgrades.

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).