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Melbourne Airport runway plan takes off

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Plans for a 3000m north-south runway at Melbourne airport are being released for public comment. Photo: AAP
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Melbourne Airport’s long-held plans for a third runway will be released to the public.

The plans for the 3000m north-south runway will be released Monday and made available for consultation until May 16.

The $1.9 billion project is expected to increase the airport’s capacity by 136,500 take-offs and landings each year.

Planning maps show noise from the new runway will impact Melbourne’s north and west, but Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi told reporters on Monday some suburbs may actually experience less noise.

“There is no doubt that additional activity does bring more noise to the surroundings, but it really depends on where you live,” he said.

There are still fewer flights running than usual due to COVID-19, with activity on the weekend at half the usual levels.

Despite this, Melbourne Airport expects annual passenger numbers will grow to more than 76 million by 2042.

Melbourne Airport says the extra runway will make it easier for flights to depart and arrive on time, and prevent shutdowns in high winds.

It’s also expected to attract new international airlines to Tullamarine, which will lead to more direct flights to international cities.

Construction could start as early as 2023 with planes taking off from the runway in 2027 at the earliest.

The project will mean construction jobs for about 650 people over the four to five year build.

– AAP