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MELBOURNE Airport CEO Chris Woodruff has called for a rail link to be built "sooner rather than later" but warned it wouldn't be a silver bullet.
Speaking at the airport's annual stakeholder event, Mr Woodruff said the aviation hub was spending tens of millions to improve access including "the mother of all elevated loop roads" but "there was only so much we can do".
"We need on a rail link to Melbourne Airport and we need it sooner rather than later. But a train is not a silver bullet.
It won't be enough on its own," Mr Woodruff said.
He said many of the airport's 30 million passengers last year were stuck in congestion on the Tullamarine Freeway wondering if they would make their flight.
"By 2020, we will have 10 million more passengers then today. Even if we had a train line by then that could take say 15 per cent of passengers, or six million passengers, that still leaves 34 million passengers on our roads, four million more than today," Mr Woodruff said.
"The Tullamarine Freeway needs to be upgraded to help meet this increased demand."
A Public Transport Victoria study released earlier this year identified Albion East as the best route for a rail link to Melbourne Airport. The train would connect with the proposed Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.
Mr Woodruff also took a swipe at the government's plans to prioritise a rail link to Avalon airport.
He said Melbourne Airport's growth meant "that every year we have to build the equivalent of three Avalon airports or the equivalent of a Darwin airport every year".
"I think it's clear which airport has larger access issues," Mr Woodruff said.
The Avalon rail link was one of the State Government's election promises.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said Melbourne Airport was the gateway to the CBD's "knowledge economy sector", which created tens of thousands of jobs and grown to a $68 billion industry in the last two years.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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