WSA has achieved a number of significant milestones in the delivery of Western Sydney International.
The Australian Government announced the Airport’s official name as Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, honouring one of Australia’s greatest aviation pioneers, and reflecting the vision of being the gateway of choice to Australia and the world.
WSA successfully transitioned the Delivery Partner and Project Management (Definition) teams which play key roles in the ongoing design and delivery of the Airport. Construction on-site began in September 2018 marking a significant milestone for the Airport and the Company. Over one million cubic metres of earth has since been moved on the site as part of the early earthworks contract.
Procurement of key technical services has commenced including Airport Planning services and Baggage Handling services. The Request for Tender (RFT) for the Terminal Precinct Architect and Interior Design Services (Design Competition) was released in May 2019 and is scheduled for award in the second half of 2019.
WSA has entered into MoUs with Qantas and Virgin Australia, and their subsidiaries Jetstar and Tigerair to assist in the planning and design of the Airport. We have also entered into MoUs with a range of global leaders in freight and logistics to assist in the development of the design of cargo and freight facilities at Western Sydney International.
Additionally, WSA has partnered with the NSW Wheelchair Rugby League, consulting with players and carers to assist in the design and accessibility elements of the Airport to ensure we provide all travellers with a seamless and enjoyable experience.
During the year we commenced development of an Aboriginal Engagement Master Plan, which provides an enabling mechanism for respectful, significant and sustainable engagement with the Aboriginal community across Western Sydney. Working with an Aboriginal Engagement partner to develop and implement the plan, WSA aims to optimise Aboriginal engagement across all aspects of the Company including cultural heritage, employment, training, education, sustainability and reporting.
The Western Sydney International Airport Experience Centre (Experience Centre) and Site Office contract was awarded in October 2018. The Experience Centre opening in September 2019 provides a tangible and enduring mechanism by which WSA is able to engage with the community, schools, businesses and international visitors throughout the delivery of Western Sydney International. Office accommodation for over 100 employees on-site is also nearing completion.
Early earthworks and growing awareness and interest from the community and other stakeholders, prompted increased community engagement. We developed a range of new communication channels to provide information and respond to both local community stakeholders and the growing domestic and international enquiries regarding the vast opportunities stemming from the Airport. The Company also partnered with local councils in the rollout of a competition to develop STEM skills throughout primary schools in Western Sydney. The initiative encouraged students to design their vision of the Airport using the popular digital platform, Minecraft, with finalists competing to win a share in $40,000 worth of STEM equipment for their schools.
The launch of the Company’s new brand mark in September 2018 included several new communication channels including the release of three social media channels to further support engagement activities. The brand launch, held in conjunction with the commencement of early earthworks, resulted in over 1,000 media mentions nationally.