Communications and engagement for Western Sydney Airport

Client:Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (current); Essence Communications for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (2014 – 2017)
Location:Badgerys Creek, NSW

The Australian Government is delivering the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport in Badgerys Creek. The new airport will cater to Western Sydney’s growing population and provide an alternative to Kingsford Smith Airport, which alone cannot accommodate the forecasted doubling of flight demand over the next 20 years.

Elton Consulting has been providing communication and engagement services to this project from its inception and planning phase (2014-17) through to the current construction phase (2018-present).

Our consultation program has targeted the communities and stakeholders in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains who will most directly benefit and/or be impacted by the airport. To do this, we’ve  maintained a strong community presence in the Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, particularly through regular information pop-up stalls at shopping centres, markets and festivals (to date, we have spoken to over 16,500 people).

This community presence has been complemented by actively engaging business and advocacy groups at key milestones, ensuring they have up-to-date information on the project to share with their industries and members.

Our work has contributed to the community’s growing positive sentiment towards the airport and helped to provide balance to the public discourse, ensuring that it is not dominated by concerns about aircraft noise. The use of pop-up stalls, in particular, has been very effective in reaching a large and diverse cross-section of the community – many of whom would otherwise have a limited awareness of the new airport.