Construction on the new runway at Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport is officially underway.

The new airport aims to use cutting-edge technology and innovative design to improve runway conditions and set a benchmark for air travel in Australia. WSI chief executive Simon Hickey said the efficient design of the 3.7km runway and rapid-exit taxiways, enabled by the latest technology, will reduce taxi and holding times, preventing delays on the tarmac that can be frustrating for passengers and costly for airlines.

WSI’s runway will handle the full range of commercial aircraft, including the new generation of ultra-long-haul airliners like the A350-1000 and Boeing 777X. The new hub will also be the only airport in Sydney equipped with a modern CAT III-B instrument landing system.

Sustainability will remain a key focus on the airfield as well as in the terminal, with the efficient design reducing fuel burn and emissions. Along with the runway and taxiways, airfield construction will include more than 40km of roads and the installation of 3,000 aeronautical ground lights using LEDs where possible. Ninety kilometres of power and fibre optic cabling will electrify the airport. Crushed sandstone from tunnelling projects across Sydney will be reused as a high-strength foundation to support construction of the runway, taxiways and roads.

Airfield construction is expected to create around 1,200 direct jobs and support many more indirect jobs through flow-on benefits to suppliers, subcontractors and the local economy.

WSI is on track to open to international, domestic and air cargo services in late 2026.