Government approves Essendon Airport Master Plan

Media Release

WT069/2014

16 May 2014

Essendon Airport's Master Plan was today approved by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss. 

In approving the airport's strategic direction for the next 20 years, Mr Truss said that Essendon Airport had a strong and vibrant future.

“The aviation sector plays a critical role in building a strong national economy and Essendon Airport makes a significant contribution to Victoria's economy,” Mr Truss said.

“It plays an import role as one of Victoria's regional gateways and as an aviation employment cluster in Melbourne's inner north.

“Essendon Airport currently supports 4,200 jobs directly and the continued development of the airport over the next five years is expected to support an additional 2,000 jobs.”

The Plan says operations at the airport contributed around $485 million a year to the City of Moonee Valley's economy, with this figure expected to increase by $187 million a year over two decades of the Master Plan.

Mr Truss said he recognised there was significant interest within the community about the proposed investigation into the shortening of the airport's north-south runway.

“My approval of the 2013 Master Plan is not an approval for this proposal to proceed,” Mr Truss said.

“A decision on this proposal will only be reached after Essendon Airport completes a very detailed investigation involving examination of operational, safety and environmental impacts, including from aircraft noise.

“The outcome of this investigation will then need to be considered through the regulatory processes under the Airports Act 1996. A key component of these regulatory processes is public consultation.”

Mr Truss said the Master Plan included significant non-aviation developments. 

“However, I will not agree to any development which would compromise the use of Essendon for aviation,” he said.

“The Government is committed to supporting sustainable growth in civil aviation.

“We accept the necessity for an element of non-aviation land use at airports, provided it does not compromise the current and future capacity of the airport to serve its primary, aviation-related purpose.

“Essendon Airport is ready to take off and further boost economic development in the City of Moonee Valley and the State of Victoria.”

Essendon Airport must make its 2013 Master Plan available to the public within 50 business days.