Bechtel picked for AU$5.3B airport
- U.S-based construction and engineering giant Bechtel announced Friday that the Western Sydney Airport Co. has chosen it as the delivery partner and project manager for the new AU$5.3 billion (approximately U.S. $4 billion) Western Sydney Airport in Badgerys Creek, New South Wales, Australia. Bechtel has vast experience with major construction projects in Australia, including tunnels and station work for the Sydney Metro, mining projects and liquefied natural gas facilities.
- Primary airport work will be divided into three phases. The first phase, which should see a contractor chosen in the first half of next year, will encompass earthwork, drainage, utilities and airside pavement. The second phase will include construction of the terminal building, as well as airside and landside work. Landside roads, parking and other such infrastructure will be addressed in the third phase.
- The new airport site is double the size of Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and is expected to provide the region with the necessary aviation capacity. The airport authority also forecasts that thousands of jobs will be generated during development and construction, as well as when the airport opens in 2026.
Airports all over the world are expanding to accommodate increases in air travel and embarking on upgrade and modernization programs to replace outdated facilities.
Last month, Vancouver International Airport officials announced that construction had started on a CA$9.1 billion (US. $6.9 billion) expansion, a project expected to last two years. When work is complete, the airport should be able to meet its 2020 capacity goal of 29 million passengers. Work includes one of the largest GeoExchange heating and cooling systems in Canada, new construction and renovations of domestic and international terminals and a reconfiguration that will allow passengers to go from check-in to gate through one, interconnected facility. Unlike in the U.S., the airport is able to raise its passenger fees if necessary to pay for construction.
Officials are also in the planning stages of an $8.5 billion expansion at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. When construction is complete, the airport will have increased by 3 million square feet. The proposed scope of work includes renovation of three existing terminals and construction of a new international terminal with capacity for larger airplanes. In order to pay for the project, city officials renegotiated fees and charges with the airlines that service O'Hare and authorized $4 billion in bonds to pay for upfront costs.
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter