Melbourne Airport says better ground transport links are needed as it pushes ahead with its plans for a third runway.
Airport Chief executive officer (CEO) Chris Woodruff says it is up to the Victorian Government to pay for upgraded transport links to an expanded airport.
The State Government has thrown its support behind a third runway at the airport but has stopped short of committing to a rail link to Tullamarine.
The Premier Ted Baillieu says the Government is spending $6 million on a feasibility study on a rail link and will await the airport's master plan due to be revealed in February next year.
Mr Woodruff says ground transport access is a critical issue for the airport.
"We ourselves have developed a long-term solution for our internal road congestion, and I announced that at the end of August," he said.
"The question then becomes what is the State Government doing to improve access from their infrastructure to the Airport," he said.
"What are we doing about the Tullamarine Freeway, what are we doing about the widening of that, what are we doing about giving Sky bus a priority lane, that super bus service that carries nearly 2.5 million people a year? "Where is the commitment to the rail link? We've been doing a study , we've been doing another study, but where lies that commitment? "Simple arithmetic suggests that the rail line has the capacity to transport about 15 per cent of our passengers." Mr Baillieu says it is not a simple exercise to drop a rail link into an airport.
"It has to be part of a master plan," he said.
Mr Woodruff says building a rail link a long term plan, but a dedicated lane for Sky bus services is a quick fix.
"In terms of timing priority, we've got to get our roads sorted out," he said.
Transport planning researcher Paul Mees says a rail link is desperately needed.
"It ought to be a source of state-wide embarrassment that we haven't been able to fix this problem," he said.
$500m plan While the issue of ground transport to and from the airport is yet to be determined, plans for were revealed to the local community at a public meeting last night.
The idea has been on the cards for decades, but the airport wants to push ahead with the plan and have the runway in place by 2020.
It is anticipated that by the end of the decade Melbourne Airport will be handling about 40 million passengers a year up, an increase of about 10 million people.
The third runway will be built at a cost of $500 million.
The east-west runway will be 3 kilometres long, 60 kilometres wide and 2 kilometres south of the current east-west runway.
Plans for the new runway have been met with opposition by residents groups concerned about the noise.
Most affected by the third runway will be the suburbs to the east of the airport, including Broadmeadows and Jacana.
"There will be more noise for the residents to our east, because they will see more arriving aircraft," CEO Woodruff said.
"Unfortunately airports are noisy places." Mr Woodruff says this has been earmarked for decades, and planning laws have stopped development in the noisiest areas.
The Government has ruled out introducing any airport.
Avalon's bid Avalon Airport CEO Justin Giddins says a third runway built there would make more sense.
"We firmly believe that sharing the noise through using Avalon airport, is far better." "You look at the congestion around Melbourne airport at the moment, that will only get worse with another runway," he said.
He says there are no traffic problems in the area, and building a rail link will cost around $150m compared to the billions it will cost at Tullamarine." Avalon has only one runway, but its long-term plans are to have up to three runways.
"They wouldn't affect residents, they're all over paddocks," he said.
Aviation hub As news of the third runway emerged, the Government announced the creation of a national aviation precinct.
Mr Baillieu says it is an historic deal.
"The precinct will provide airlines with access to aviation training facilities, highly skilled workers and maintenance, repair and overhaul services," he said.
Mr Baillieu said a national aviation services precinct would position Victoria to attract new investment, create jobs and capitalise on the rapid growth forecast in the aviation sector.
"We have signed an historic agreement with John Holland Aviation Services, Australia's largest independent maintenance, repair and overhaul operator, to partner in delivering Australia's first national aviation precinct," he said.
"Securing John Holland as the first partner is a major step forward.
We are now seeking further private sector participation and investment to develop and operate the precinct.
"We envisage aircraft and engine maintenance repair and overhaul enterprises such as John Holland working alongside component companies and suppliers and training providers in a shared collaborative space to increase innovation and deliver competitive outcomes.
"The precinct will feature training academies and institutions teaching students of today to be the qualified aviation specialists of the future, and it will become an incubator for research and development.
"Forecasts show that in the next 20 years about half of the world's air traffic growth will be driven by increases in travel to, from or within the Asia-Pacific region," Mr Baillieu said.
"Airbus and Boeing are forecasting something in the region of 33,000 new aircraft deliveries," he said.
"It's an extraordinary figure worth more than $4 trillion over the next 20 years.
"There will be new planes, that's an extraordinary opportunity for those in the industry.
That growth provides in particular those in the Victorian aviation industry with opportunities, and that's what we are seeking to capitalise on and we are doing that in a pre-emptive way.
"Melbourne Airport's redevelopment will create thousands of jobs and help attract new business investment as more airlines seek to expand to our region.
"The forecast tells us that the need for maintenance personnel will require more than 240,000 in the Asia Pacific region, and as a Government we want to make the most of that if we can." Mr Baillieu says Victoria has competitive strengths and the State has to make the most of those strengths.
"We have the lowest workplace insurance premiums, we have a curfew free-airport, we have a second international airport designated, we offer stability, and Victoria is the only triple-A rated Government with a stable outlook across the country now.
"This is an invitation to all of those business in the aviation industry to get on board and develop some strengths, some critical mass in this important location." The precinct will feature training academies and institutions teaching students of today to be the qualified aviation specialists of the future, and it will become an incubator for research and development.