Sydney Airport has unveiled plans to reconfigure its terminals, organising them by airlines rather than by international and domestic traffic.
In a move that aims to increase capacity and improve connection times, the airport will create two airline alliance-based precincts which will integrate international, domestic and regional services all under the one roof by 2019.
Under the plan, the airport's domestic terminal, T2, would accommodate Qantas and its international partners as well as Jetstar.
The international terminal, T1, would house Virgin Australia and other international airlines.
According to the gateway, the proposed reconfiguration makes better use of the existing facilities, provides for more aircraft gates and allows for future terminal expansion.
Furthermore, the new design should improve traffic flow around the airport.
Kerrie Mather, CEO of Sydney Airport, said: “Sydney Airport is investigating reconfiguring the current domestic and international precincts to create two alliance-based precincts.
“Each would accommodate the entire operations of one of our major domestic airlines and its international partners.”
Mather said that under the proposal, the passenger experience would be improved through faster connect times and more efficient airline and airport operations.
She added: “From an airport operations perspective this would reduce aircraft turnaround times, largely eliminate towed main runway crossings and produce a better environmental outcome through reduced aircraft emissions.”
Meanwhile, the proposal would guarantee ongoing access by regional airlines to Sydney Airport.
However, the precinct from which domestic and regional carriers such as Tiger, Rex, AeroPelican and Brindabella will operate is still the subject of consultation.
The proposal also includes the construction of a new Qantas Engineering complex for line maintenance to support the airline’s current and future fleet, and a new Virgin Australia hangar for wide and narrow-body aircraft that will serve as a dedicated maintenance base in Sydney.
Mather added: “To facilitate this exciting new vision Sydney Airport has signed non-binding Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with its major domestic airline customers, the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia to progress the proposal.
“The MoU between Sydney Airport and the Qantas Group includes a commitment to explore the benefits and financial implications of an early reversion of long term leases.”
The Qantas Group currently has long-term leases on airport land, which includes Terminal 3, the Qantas Jet Base and the Qantas Freight Base.
Mather added: “We are pleased to announce that in recognition of the time required to develop the proposal the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia have agreed to extend the current international aeronautical pricing arrangements to mid-2015. This provides certainty to all parties while the proposal is evolved.”