Issued: January 2013
Sydney Airport: A major employer and
International trade and air routes are vital to
Australia’s continued national prosperity. Airports
are an essential part of the transport networks on
which all successful modern economies rely.
Sydney Airport acts as a major generator for a
range of economic activity. Its close proximity only
8km from Sydney Central Business District also
provides a unique advantage for business and
tourism, major events and conference industries,
over other state capitals.
For example, Sydney Airport:
- influences decisions by companies to locate
their head offices in Sydney and improves their
- attracts new investment to the NSW and Sydney
- retains existing companies and secures their
- promotes exports through air freight and
enhances the competitiveness of our economy
through the provision of efficient passenger and
- attracts new businesses, leisure activities and
tourism-based incomes and creates new jobs.
Creating jobs and economic activity
A recent study by Deloitte Access Economics into
the economic impact of Sydney Airport measured
the airport’s economic and social benefits. Sydney
Airport generates or facilitates:
- Jobs. Direct and indirect employment of
283,700 jobs (equivalent to 8 per cent of NSW
employment), including 160,000 direct jobs –
average wages for airport workers are about
13 per cent higher than the NSW average
- Economic activity. Direct and indirect economic
contribution of $27.6 billion (equivalent to
6 per cent of the NSW economy and 2 per cent
of the Australian economy)
- Household income. Direct and indirect
contribution of $13.2 billion
- Taxes. Direct and indirect taxes, including:
- Substantial income tax and GST revenues to
the Australian Government
- Substantial payroll taxes to the NSW
- Annual contributions, in lieu of rates, to the
City of Botany Bay, Rockdale City and
It is forecast that the economic activity generated
or facilitated by Sydney Airport will increase from
$27.6 billion in 2012 to over $42 billion in 2033.
Total employment will increase from 283,700 jobs
in 2012 to over 400,000 by 2033.
A relatively small activity at the airport can have
a potentially large positive economic impact.
For example, an additional daily A380 service to
Sydney from China would, over a year, contribute
- $388 million to the Australian economy
- $233 million to Australia’s household income
- 5,000 jobs (4,000 of which would be in NSW).
Sydney Airport has an unmatched route network
which includes 46 international, 23 domestic and
26 regional destinations.
Sydney’s status as Australia’s only global city,
in turn, supports this route network and the
development of Sydney Airport and related
businesses. The availability of direct flights to a
wide network of destinations also significantly
strengthens the competitiveness of the Sydney and
NSW tourism industry.
Sydney Airport partners with Destination NSW
to actively work to boost tourism, attract new
airlines and increase airline services to Sydney, in
support of the NSW Government’s target to double
overnight visitor expenditure by 2020. Sydney
Airport and Tourism Australia are also working
together to promote tourism to Australia.
Air freight is a vital economic activity that
contributes significantly to global business and to
the NSW and Australian economies. It is a critical
component of the airline industry, part of a value
chain that includes airports, related trucking and
logistics services, manufacturing and consumer
operations and other support industries.
Sydney Airport is Australia’s largest international
and domestic air freight hub. In 2011, Sydney Airport
handled around 530,000 tonnes of air freight
(of which almost 400,000 tonnes was international
air freight), which was 52 per cent more than
Australia’s second largest air freight hub,
It is estimated that around 80 per cent of air
freight is carried in passenger aircraft, making it
vitally important to the economics of our airlines’
The volume of freight handled by Sydney Airport is
projected to double over the period to 2033 to over
one million tonnes.