WESTERN Sydney Airport Company (WSA Co) has marked its first year in business, moving from a ‘startup’ phase and into infrastructure delivery.
The Australian Government established WSA Co just over a year ago, following through on its equity investment of $5.3 billion to build and operate Western Sydney Airport.
“This time last year, we established WSA Co with four board members charged with delivering one of the most significant transport infrastructure projects in Australia,” Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister, Paul Fletcher said.
“The full board complement was appointed by November 2017, resulting in a board of seven with the right mix of skills and expertise to lead the delivery of Western Sydney Airport.
“WSA Co has since transitioned from start up to delivery. The company has established its base in central Liverpool and has its first critical project well underway – the nearly $100 million project to move an overhead high voltage cable is already well ahead of schedule.
“WSA Co has also awarded three major contracts, for early earthworks and multi-year contracts for delivery partners and project managers,” he said. “WSA Co is also engaging local Western Sydney firms, for example in site security, site maintenance, and for site preparatory activities.
“The company is on track to commence early earthworks at the Western Sydney Airport before the end of the year. Early earthworks will support up to 300 jobs in Western Sydney.”
Mr Fletcher said the Western Sydney Airport construction activity would support more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs overall, “and WSA Co has also made a firm commitment to the people of Western Sydney, by setting strict local workforce targets”.
“The Australian Government continues to work closely with WSA Co to ensure the company meets its regulatory obligations and the project stays on track for the airport to open in 2026,” Mr Fletcher said.
Construction on Western Sydney Airport began on September 24.
Western Sydney Airport chief executive Graham Millett said it marked “both the end of a long journey and the start of an exciting new one”.
“It’s been talked about for decades, but now we’re ending the speculation – Western Sydney Airport is coming,” Mr Millett said.
QANTAS AND JETSTAR AGREE
QANTAS and Jetstar will operate from Western Sydney Airport. This follows the recent announcement that Virgin Australia intends to operate both Virgin and Tiger Airways flights from the new airport currently under construction.
The airport will have a 3.7km runway, capable of servicing the largest commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, and will have a high quality design reflecting the confidence and aspirations of Western Sydney, according to Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher.
“Reports which confirm that both major domestic airlines will operate full service carriers from Western Sydney Airport is great news for Western Sydney,” Mr Fletcher said.
“More than 2 million people live closer to Western Sydney Airport than the existing airport at Mascot, and being an international airport will ensure that the people of Western Sydney get access to the air services that they deserve.”
Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister, Paul Fletcher.
SINGAPORE-BASED researcher and developer of high performance hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems for aerial platforms, HES Energy Systems, is expanding to France to work on the first decentralised hydrogen infrastructure for autonomous fuel cell powered aerial vehicles.
The move is part of HES’ broader goals to introduce long range zero emission aviation powered by renewable hydrogen, which it claims is “the most energy dense element in the universe”.
Thinking big yet starting small, the same company that started introducing its range-extending propulsion technology to small drones several years ago is now evolving towards manned aerial platforms, such as flying cars and inter-urban electric aircraft.
From its lab in Singapore, HES has spent the last 10 years developing advanced ultra-light hydrogen propulsion systems that are up to 10 times lighter than batteries. Following a number of international experiments powering small unmanned aircraft for record durations, HES’s systems are now being scaled up to power larger manned electric aircraft, potentially revolutionising aerial logistics and mobility – increasing their flight range while eliminating carbon emissions.
A subsidiary of H3 Dynamics, HES is part of the France-Singapore innovation link that continues to intensify between both countries. Last year H3 Dynamics set the tone by opening its European headquarters in Paris with the hearty welcome of French President Emmanuel Macron. HES is now following suit and joining forces with France’s aerospace and hydrogen eco-system.
As part of its set up in France, HES is announcing its partnership with France’s leading professional unmanned aircraft builder, delair, and ERGOSUP, a French start-up developing energy-efficient hydrogen production systems.
Derived from a broader 2016 French National Call for Projects looking to deploy hydrogen technologies into airport applications in Toulouse, HES’s partnership will focus on creating infrastructure around smaller-scale hydrogen unmanned aircraft.
“Starting with smaller scale aerial vehicles help turn bigger visions to reality faster, and reduces the challenges related to commercialising complex technology” said Taras Wankewycz, CEO of HES and parent company H3 Dynamics.
HES plans to scale up the program to a continental network of hydrogen air bases for a fleet of autonomous, long-range and electric aircraft. The joint initiative will create economic and social benefits, Mr Wankewycz said, while starting the path to reducing carbon emissions in aviation.
“We are proud to start our initiatives in France and we look forward to bright outcomes together with our partners,” Mr Wankewycz said. “This is a major step toward an exciting prospect: zero emission aerial mobility”.
Aligning well with HES’s roadmap, more than50 global leaders in the energy, transport, and industrial sectors, led by the CEO and chairman of Air Liquide and the chairman of Hyundai, came together on September 14 to announce their landmark commitment to 100 percent decarbonized hydrogen for all mobility applications by 2030.
France’s government has meanwhile launched a national hydrogen plan to utilize hydrogen across all sectors.