Transport Minister Mark Vaile announced today that the Federal Government has rejected Sydney Airport Corporation's plans for a major commercial development at the airport.
The proposal by the corporation was for a new retail centre, office space and more than 2,000 new car park spaces.
The Government says the proposed development posed an unacceptable safety risk.
Mr Vaile said, "The proposal is right in the middle of Sydney Airport with three operating runways all around it."
"Given recent history, not in Australia but in Bangkok and in Toronto … where aircraft have ended up when they've overshot the runway (is a concern) and the possibility of impact with buildings containing people that are not involved in aviation at all is still unresolved (in this case).''
Mr Vaile says it would be too dangerous for planes taking off and landing nearby.
"Then, of course, issues involving traffic generation, particularly on those roads in and around the airport and Port Botany, given the current circumstances where in peak hours particularly, the traffic is quite significant there," he said.
"You can't say for certain that would happen but there is that risk that the proximity of these buildings, basically, is too close to the end of the third runway,'' Mr Vaile said.
Security worries about the thousands of extra people being on the site of an international airport had been addressed in the plan, Mr Vaile said.
Sydney Airport said the decision would not stop it trying to develop a major retail centre.
Sydney Airport chief executive Russell Balding said: "Sydney Airport is fully committed to public safety.
"More work will be done on the issues of concern to the minister.''Mr Vaile said he would be happy to take a second look at any proposal."In the future, if Sydney Airport wants to put forward other proposals, that is entirely up to them and they will be subjected to the same due processes.