Air quality

Cleaner air is vital to the sustainable growth of our city. We're taking action to reduce our impact on air quality by facilitating cleaner and more fuel-efficient aircraft and encouraging public transport options for travellers and staff.

Section 3.4 of the Airport Environment Strategy 2019-2024 sets out our key objectives in relation to air quality, and the five-year action plan sets out how these will be achieved.

Our objectives are to:

  • Minimise air emissions from ground-based airport operations and activities
  • Comply with State and Commonwealth legislation and relevant standards and guidelines
  • Support and encourage the progressive introduction by airlines of cleaner and more fuel-efficient next generation aircraft

Air quality monitoring

We undertake air quality monitoring within the airport to ensure we better understand local air quality and to inform future planning and strategies We installed and commissioned our own air quality monitoring station (AQMS) on site in 2018.

The AQMS continuously monitors the local air quality and the results are measured against the criteria set out in NSW and Commonwealth regulations.

Airport infrastructure

To facilitate and actively support the introduction of the next generation of quieter, cleaner and more fuel-efficient aircraft, Sydney Airport has invested significantly to upgrade airfield and terminal infrastructure. Sydney Airport has also invested in infrastructure which enables airlines to minimise the use of jet fuel powered Auxiliary Power Units, and as a result minimise impacts on local air quality.

Encouraging the use of sustainable transport modes

Increased use of sustainable transport modes will help to minimise environmental impacts such as air and noise emissions associated with airport-related traffic. We are committed to encouraging the increased use of sustainable transport modes for passengers and staff to access the airport (including public transport and cycling). This commitment is outlined in Section 3.6 of the AES and includes measures to increase pedestrian, cycling and sustainable transport connections to and from the airport.

Read our annual Sustainability Report for more detail on our air quality management and performance.

Cleaner more efficient aircraft

Despite the growth in aviation over recent decades, the fuel efficiency of today’s modern jets is 70 percent better than it was with the early jets. Improved fuel efficiency means lower air emissions and a reduced contribution to climate change. It is expected that fuel efficiency will continue to improve with the introduction of next generation aircraft.

Section 3.4.5 of the Airport Environment Strategy details our five-year air quality action plan.