Construction will start in 2016 and will cost $2.4 billion.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said funding would come from the private sector and that planning and design work would start immediately 

National carrier Qantas welcomed the announcement.

CEO Alan Joyce said the second airport was a vital piece of economic infrastructure for Australia – and Badgerys Creek was clearly the right site.

“Qantas has long supported the building of a second airport at Badgerys Creek, as have a number of detailed studies,” he said in a statement. “After decades of debate, we applaud today’s announcement by the Prime Minister.

“The role of second airports has been well-established in several of the world’s major capitals. Sydney is the key gateway for air traffic in-and-out of Australia and the benefits of having two major airports will be felt nationwide.

“Airports are key pieces of infrastructure that facilitate a huge amount of economic activity, and they take a lot of time to plan and build. We look forward to being part of this process as Badgerys Creek moves closer to reality,” he added.

Tourism & Transport Forum Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the airport has been a long time coming.

“This is unequivocally great news for Australia’s $107 billion tourism industry,” he said.

“After decades of debate, studies and investigation, we congratulate the Abbott government on finally committing to a second airport for Sydney and to commencing construction in 2016.”

Image via Getty