Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss released the draft airport plan and environmental impact statement for the Badgerys Creek project.
The public will have 60 days to have their say on the plan, which includes an initial single runway with a second expected around 2050 that will be capable of handling 82 million passengers a year.
Provision has been made for a rail corridor, including a tunnel and station cavity, but there are no plans for constructing a link.
"Unquestionably as the airport grows to a much larger scale and reaches a stage where there is 80 million passengers it's clearly going to need rail access," Mr Truss told reporters in Canberra.
Five million passengers would not provide sufficient revenue to make a rail connection viable, he said.
The government has already pledged $3.6 billion for a roads infrastructure package, with construction underway in some areas.
Mr Truss expects work will start on the airport in 2016, but warns potential court challenges, negotiations with the owners of Kingsford-Smith and other issues could cause delays.
"We will be working hard to have bulldozers on the site by the end of next year," he said.
The environmental impact statement found no house in the Western Sydney Airport area will be exposed to the same level of noise experienced by those under and around flight paths in Sydney and Adelaide.
"They will generally be about conversational level in volume and rarely would people be required to raise their voices because of the fact that there was aircraft movements in the area," Mr Truss said.
The statement says the airport will have no significant impact on the greater Blue Mountains area, including its World Heritage values.
THE AIRPORT PLAN:
- Create more than 3000 jobs in 2022, nearly 9000 in 2031, 60,000 in 2063
- Same size as Gold Coast airport but within five years will match Adelaide airport
- 3.7km single runway, with a second runway by 2050 that can take 82 million passengers
- Construction due to start in late 2016
- Operations to start in mid-2020s
- $3.6 billion roads package, with rail corridor scoped out
- Community has until December 18 to comment on plan and draft environmental impact statement.