Qantas is on an apparent collision course, not against Virgin Australia or Tiger Airways or Middle Easter air carriers, but against the premier of New South Wales (NSW) over the plan to build a second airport in Sydney.
Qantas likely announcing a deal with China Eastern to start Jetstar Hong Kong in 2013
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce backed the construction of a second gateway in Sydney, while NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell is pushing for connecting Sydney with Canberra Airport through high-speed rail.
"He is wrong on this . . . There's no point in building fast train links to places like Canberra and assuming that's going to fix the problem," Trading Room quoted the response of Mr Joyce on Tuesday at the National Press Club.
The premier insisted the community in Sydney basin should not be exposed to further aircraft noise, while the operators of the Sydney Airport said it still has enough capacity and cited the efficient use of existing gates and the entry of larger aircraft as evidence.
A federal government report released in March recommended the construction of a second gateway at Badgery's Creek in Sydney's west, while Mr Joyce and the federal government favour another site in Wilton, located south of Sydney.
"I would encourage everybody to read that paper because it does show the economic problems that will be created if we don't have a second Sydney airport . . . . Anybody that has a view on what is going to happen in any level of growth rate in Sydney knows the damage that it is going to cause not only to the NSW economy but the national economy if we don't address this problem," Mr Joyce said.
"As a nation we do not have unlimited time to adjust to the new realities. The world is speeding up, while here in Australia we still take too long to do things," said Mr Joyce.
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