Melbourne Airport Third Runway


Prospective pipeline

Credibly proposed


Under procurement

Preferred bidder announced

Recently closed
Melbourne Airport Third Runway

Prospective pipeline

Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.

Credibly proposed

The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.   


The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.

Under procurement

The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).

Preferred bidder announced

A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.

Recently closed

Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.

ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:


Construction projects: > AUD$300m

Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m

New Zealand

All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million

STATUS: Credibly proposed
VALUE: $1.5bn AUD
SECTOR: Other transport
PROCUREMENT APPROACH: Traditional procurement
TYPE: Greenfield

Melbourne Airport is proposing to construct a third runway, to accommodate forecast growth in flight numbers.

The runway will be 3,000 metres long, in a north-south alignment, parallel to the existing north-south runway. The proposed runway will be capable of handling all aircraft types.

Development of approval documentation is currently being undertaken with the intent of releasing the preliminary draft Major Development Plan (MDP) for public comment in early 2021.

It is also proposed that the existing east-west runway be extended from 2.2 kilometres to three kilometres and widened from 45 to 60 metres.

Melbourne Airport is expected to determine the orientation of the third runway and commence planning for the project in December 2019.




2021/22: Construction to commence, pending government approvals

2025: Intended start of operation of the third runway




14 November 2019: After reviewing two options, Melbourne Airport announced their preference for a north-south alignment of the third runway. The technical planning review deemed the north-south orientation to provide superior outcomes in terms of availability, capacity, long-term investment profile and community impacts. 

27 June 2019: Melbourne Airport announced the third runway would be subject for a period of further technical consultation following a review of the proposed east-west alignment suggesting the north-south alignment could provide better value in the near term. Consultations were expected to extend through to the end of 2019.

November 2018: Melbourne Airport decided to delay submission of the draft MDP to the Federal Government in order to undertake additional analysis on the project.  

July 2018: The preliminary draft of Major Development Plan (MDP) went on exhibition. The MDP is expected to be submitted for Ministerial approval in late 2018. Approval is required from the Commonwealth Government through a MDP for the new runway. The MDP include detailed planning documents and consider the runway's impact on the community.

20 November 2017: A McConnell Dowell/Lendlease Joint Venture has been appointed as advisor by Melbourne Airport to progress the approvals process and finalise design work for the runway development.

23 December 2013: Melbourne Airport’s 2013 Master Plan was approved by the Federal Government, which proposes an east-west runway as the third runway for the airport.



Further Information

Melbourne Airport expects to undertake detailed work on the third runway and prepare a Draft MDP in 2020. This will then be put on exhibition in 2021 with construction to follow in 2021/22

Approval is required from the Commonwealth Government through a MDP for construction of the new runway. The MDP includes detailed planning documents and consider the runway's impact on the community.

Infrastructure Australia list the project as a near term (1-5 years) Priority Initiative on its Infrastructure Priority List.

In addition to the third runway, Melbourne Airport foresees the need for a fourth runway, however this will not be needed until after 2038.


Last reviewed: 03/12/2019

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