A REPORT revealing a record number of Australians travelling by plane has prompted renewed calls from federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese for the Sydney Airport Corporation to map out a plan to combat imminent traffic congestion.
On Sunday, Mr Albanese released the annual report on domestic and international airline activity which showed Australian and international airlines flew more than 82million passengers last year.
Despite major setbacks including the grounding of budget airline Tiger, mechanical difficulties for Qantas and delays caused by the Chile volcano ash, domestic passenger numbers grew by 0.6% and international numbers rose by about 5%.
Mr Albanese said the two busiest routes flew in an out of Sydney, highlighting the importance of planning for the future.
Last week the SAC served Mr Albanese with legal papers after he moved the deadline for the corporation to complete the airport's draft master plan from mid 2014 to the middle of next year.
On Tuesday Mr Albanese confirmed he would fight the legal challenge which will be heard on a date to be set in the Sydney Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
"The fact is that Sydney needs a second airport to handle growing international and domestic demand and create jobs in our economy," Mr Albanese said
"A strong aviation sector is vital for our economy, for tourism, business and importantly, for jobs."