First look at Western Sydney International Terminal

07 November 2019

Australia has been given its first look at Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport with today’s release of the first design images.

The design is the next step in Western Sydney International taking shape, with major earthworks set to commence next year that will lead to the construction of runways, roads, rail and the terminal.

The innovative design of the country’s biggest aviation project in decades follows the appointment of the architects who will design the terminal precinct


Successful architectural team Zaha Hadid Architects, and Australian architects, Cox Architecture won the honour to design the terminal precinct following a competitive process which generated more than 40 design entrants. 

The winning design focuses on the customer journey while paying tribute to the Western Sydney region and natural landscape. It passed a range of value-for-money and technical reviews.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the designs showed the once-in-a-generation infrastructure project coming to life.

“This is set to be the largest gateway to Australia and these designs are another step to making it a reality,” the Prime Minister said.

“Designed alongside locals and built by local workers the airport will deliver massive economic benefits to the region.”


The appointment of the architectural design team and the first look at the terminal design is a major milestone in the delivery of the federally funded, $5.3 billion Western Sydney International.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said designing and constructing a terminal capable of catering for 10 million passengers annually was a significant challenge.

“To meet the challenge the terminal will be designed for modular expansion, to accommodate the long term capacity of up to 80 million passengers anticipated every year by the early 2060s,” Minister Cormann said.

To be considered for the design project, interested firms were required to have experience designing an airport of similar size and complexity to Western Sydney International in the past five years. The final decision on the winning design was made by a panel of some of Australia’s most renowned architects.

Liberal Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne said the competitive process undertaken for the terminal precinct design led to the very best outcome for Western Sydney.


“The iconic final design ensures that air travel will be accessible for locals, as well as locking in new opportunities for people who want to work, shop and meet at the terminal precinct,” Senator Payne said.

The airport has committed to delivering 30 per cent of direct job opportunities to Western Sydney residents and is currently exceeding that target.

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said Western Sydney would be the big winner as the airport continues to take shape.

“The construction phase alone will support 11,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Western Sydney region,” Minister Tudge said.

“Within the first five years of the airport opening it is expected to support 28,000 full time jobs for the people of Western Sydney.”


The design process encouraged the demonstration on how local university students would be included on the design team.

Member for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh said designing an airport and working through concepts with local students is important.

“I am pleased to see that Zaha Hadid Architects and Australian architects Cox Architecture will work with Western Sydney University students, local Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders to further refine and enhance the concepts to arrive at the final design,” Ms McIntosh said.

“This is the first step in preparing our local kids for the jobs of the future by playing such an integral role through the design of the Airport. We know that post construction over 28,000 jobs will be created and we want our kids to take those opportunities.”





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