When Western Sydney Airport opens in 2026, it will be one of the most technologically advanced gateways in the world equipped with augmented reality, advanced robotics and a runway long enough to accommodate ultra-long-haul aircraft.

Speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit in Sydney this week, Western Sydney Airport’s Chief Executive, Graham Millett said the gate will be second to none and will have the capability to handle aircraft that can take Australians direct to London or even New York City.

This be achieved through Western Sydney Airport’s single runway, which will stretch to 3,700m in length – the requirement needed to operate aircraft such as the Boeing 777-300 and the Boeing 777-MAX.


He said having the ability to handle long range planes creates an opportunity for airlines, such as Qantas, to utilise the gateway for future ultra-long-haul services.

“Initially we’ll be building a single terminal and a single runway, however, ultimately the airport is designed for two parallel runways,” he said.

“Each of those runways will be 3,700m in length which will culminate the longest take-off roll for any aircraft currently in service. At the moment this is the 777-300 but ultimately will be the 777-MAX.”

“This will enable maximum takeoff weight of those aircraft – full weight and full freight can be carried – and what that means is non-stop flights to London… and potentially New York City.”

Graham Millett, Western Sydney Airport Chief Executive


Accompanying the runway in 2026 will be a single terminal, which Millett described as “truly digital” with 5G capability (and the option to upgrade to 6G), augmented reality, advanced robots and advanced baggage handling services.

When it opens in 2026, Western Sydney Airport is expected to handle some 10 million passengers every year, many of which are likely to be those living closest to the gateway. Millett predicted passenger count to increase to around 82 million by 2060-2065 and will include a mixture of locals and those living in the wider Sydney area.

Both full service and low-cost flights will operate from the gateway, including full service domestic and international services as well as low cost international and domestic services.

Millett said it’s important for people to remember that this gateway isn’t just a “second airport to Kingsford Smith”, it’s more like a competitor.

“This will be a facility that folks of Western Sydney and the rest of Sydney will be proud of.”

Graham Millett, Western Sydney Airport Chief Executive

“The folks in Western Sydney have deserved their own airport for a long time and now they’re going to get one.”


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Are you excited for the Western Sydney Airport to open?