Melbourne Airport today announced its third runway will be subject to a period of further technical consultation with government, airlines and regulatory bodies following a detailed review of the proposed east-west alignment. The consultation will extend through the second half of 2019.

 Melbourne Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lyell Strambi said a new runway remained essential to cater for forecast growth over the next two decades and it was critical to get the sequencing of the runway investment right.

“Due to a number of factors which have changed over time, we have undertaken a planning review over the last six months to assess whether east-west remains the preferred option for the third runway that we announced in 2013.

“Our review provides strong evidence to suggest the north-south parallel could now provide a superior outcome in terms of availability, capacity, long-term investment profile and community impacts.

“It is important to be clear that at this stage there has been no decision to change the direction of the runway. Instead, we will enter a period of technical consultation with our airline customers, the federal government, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders to inform our final decision.”

Mr Strambi recognised the community interest in the project and said Melbourne Airport would continue to communicate throughout the consultation period.

“Planning for Melbourne Airport has included four runways since the 1960s and the double parallel ‘hashtag’ layout has been in place since 1990.

“We are committed to communicating and listening to the community while fulfilling our responsibility to deliver this state and nationally significant infrastructure.”