$80m airport road plan to ease traffic congestion

Melbourne Airport is seeking approval for an $80 million road project to ease traffic congestion.

The airport wants to extend Airport Drive almost four kilometres, to connect it to the Western Ring Road.

The extra approach to the airport is expected to reduce congestion on the Tullamarine Freeway and cut the number of cars using Melrose Drive.

The plans have been released for public consultation but Federal Government approval is needed before construction can begin, possibly next year.

The extension would be a four-lane divided road with space to expand to six lanes with room for a rail line in the median strip.

"Melbourne Airport absolutely supports a rail link to the airport," airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said.

"Yes there is provision for a rail line in this extension of Airport Drive and this has been the case for a number of years." Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy says the Government is considering the idea.

"It's not just a simple discussion because there are issues obviously around whether you elevate, whether you go underground, whether it's broad gauge, whether it's standard gauge, whether it's interacting with electric," he said.

"There's a whole range of issues that have got to be looked at." The plan would also include a shared pedestrian and cycling path.

The airport announced plans for a third runway last month.

Figures show about 40 million passengers will pass through the airport every year by 2020.

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