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Sydney Airport warmly welcomes thousands of passengers every day through our domestic and international terminals. We are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all passengers and visitors.

The staff that work at Sydney Airport, including volunteer Airport Ambassadors are dynamic, caring, helpful, proactive and approachable and work as a team to ensure your experience is one of ease as your travel through Sydney Airport.

Sydney Airport consists of three terminals:

  • T1 refers to the International Terminal where all international flights arrive and depart from
  • T2 refers to the Domestic Terminal where all Virgin, Jetstar, Tiger, Rex, Fly Pelican and Fly Corporate flights arrive and depart from
  • T3 refers to the Qantas Domestic Terminal where all Qantas domestic flights arrive and depart from, gates and facilities. Please refer to the Qantas website for information on accessibility when travelling via T3

Journey

Planning for travel

Booking your tickets


Airlines offer differing levels of service and ‘special assistance’ to passengers. Check with your airline before you book your flight, to check that their inclusion and accessibility policies, procedures and services meet your needs.

Travel agents can be very helpful with this process. Your chosen airline or travel agent can also give advice on:

  • Fitness for travel
  • Visa and passport requirements, for international travel
  • Correct check-in times, or if in transit, minimum connection time requirements
  • Travel Insurance
  • Accessible accommodation

You can also find more information about preparing for travel, passports and visas here.


Health and wellbeing

Being in good health helps you to be physically and emotionally prepared for travel. Being prepared in advance of your trip will make your journey more enjoyable and hassle-free. Consider the following 4 steps in your preparation:

  1. Visit your doctor 6-8 weeks prior to travelling and discuss your medical and health needs (physical, mental, emotional) relating to travel. Some airlines may require medical clearance in order for you to fly.

  2. Ask your doctor for supporting medical documentation and medication lists (including powdered supplements) - for example, a letter, prescription or medical card. Include details of artificial limbs, medical implants such as hip replacements or pacemakers and any medical devices or aids you may require during your flight, as these will support you going through security process.

  3. Explore ways you can care for your body when flying and travelling - hydration, wear comfortable clothing including something warm, moving/exercises to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), self-catering if you have special dietary requirements and breathing exercises to assist with any phobias or anxiety you may have about flying.

  4. Log your trip with SmartTraveller if travelling overseas, and make use of the resources provided by the Department of Home Affairs for travelling with specific needs.

Sensory awareness

The way we process sensory input is a major factor in how we participate in our environment.

The airport environment can be intense and overwhelming due to the sensory demands (for example, things you see, hear, touch, smell and feel) and because of the processes, such as check-in and security, that we are required to participate in.

Sensory awareness

Sensory friendly travel tips

Some things that can support your participation at Sydney Airport are:

  • Clothing – sunglasses; cap/hat; multi layered clothing
  • Specific sensory items - noise cancelling headphones; fidget items; tablet apps; scented handkerchief
  • Body Care – choosing the sensory friendly route, finding opportunities to engage in active and supportive movement such as walking around the terminal or whilst sitting, lifting knees or weight bearing through your arms; choosing the most supportive and safe method of travel (lift vs. escalator or stairs); breathing and body awareness techniques

Luggage

Before you arrive at the airport, it is important to confirm with your airline the number of bags and weight of each item you can take on your flight. This information should also be displayed on your ticket.

It is acceptable to pack a reasonable amount of essential items for your flight in your carry-on baggage, such as medicines and/or hypodermic needles. All other medicines and medical aids need to be packed in your checked baggage.

Medical aids such as oxygen tanks and wheelchairs can all be catered for. Please check with your airline.


Assistance animals


Assistance animals are welcome inside our terminal. Information regarding the eligibility and travel requirements is available on the Department of Agriculture website.

checkin dog


48 hours prior to travel

It’s almost time to take off!

The standard timeframe needed for airlines and service providers such as travel agents to arrange specific assistance is 48 hours. This means it is now time to:

  • Reconfirm your flight and check-in time with your airline
  • Confirm assistance requirements with your airline
  • If travelling internationally, there is an option to access duty-free shopping online
  • Download and print our helpful Journey Planner

Getting to the airport

Transport options

There are many ground transport options available for all passengers for arriving at all of our terminals including: car, bus, train, shuttle, taxi, ride share operators such as Uber and UberAssist, rental cars, limousines, self drive and, bikes.

Trains

For more information on transport options, visit our Transport options page.


Parking


Sydney Airport provides accessible parking for people with mobility parking permits within the Domestic and International car parks. There are a total of 60 disability accessible parking bays across the three on precinct Domestic car parks. At the International precinct, there are three separate designated parking areas, with a total of 56 disabled bays available. You will find these spaces clearly signed.

Long term parking is also available remotely at the Blu Emu car park. At the Blu Emu car park there are 48 disability accessible parking bays. A regular shuttle bus (approximately every 15 minutes during peak times) provides access to/from the Blu Emu car park to Domestic T2 & T3. The shuttle bus is disability accessible.

More information on acccessible parking options can be found on our parking page.

Our maps showing parking and walking distances you need to travel, will help you navigate your way through this part of your journey.


Drop off at the airport

At all Sydney Airport terminals, there are dedicated accessible drop off zones located at the Departures level with the nearest access points to the terminals.

Our kerbside staff are trained to understand the differing needs of passengers with disabilities when leaving a vehicle. Please note that drivers must remain with the vehicle at all times. If your passenger needs assistance accessing the terminal, we recommend an additional person attends to assist while you remain with the car.

  • More details regarding T1 International terminal drop off can be found here.
  • More details regarding T2 and T3 Domestic terminals drop off can be found here.

Preparing for your departure

Check in

In general, each passenger is responsible for lifting their luggage onto the weigh belt at check-in. If travelling by yourself and you need assistance with your luggage, pre-arrange support by contacting your airline. Your travel agent can also assist you with this.

Check-in locations

In both T1 International and T2 Domestic the check-in counters are located on Level 2, Departures.

Types of Check-In Available

Depending on your airline, there may be different options which may include mobile check-in, online check-in, check-in kiosks, auto check-in and airport check-in. Thinking ahead and planning the way you check-in for your flight, may also determine the assistance you can access.

Check-In Deadlines

Confirming deadline for check-in with your airline is important. Carriers are not able to delay flights and being late may result in the loss of your fare.

Luggage

Be aware of the luggage size, weight and content requirements as each airline’s requirements will differ. In general, each passenger is responsible for lifting their luggage onto the weigh belt at check-in. If travelling by yourself and you need assistance with your luggage, pre-arrange support by contacting your airline. Your travel agent can also assist you with this.

Documentation

Domestic: You will need to present your ticket, identification such as a drivers license or proof of age card, and boarding pass if you have already have one from a check-in kiosk.

International: You will need to present your passport and ticket.

Flight Information Displays (FIDS)

The terminals have many Flight Information Display Screens (FIDS) throughout the public areas to advise flight arrival and departure times, boarding calls, ‘flight landed’ information, gate numbers and baggage carousel details.

In keeping with Sydney Airport’s quiet terminal initiative, in T1, passenger and flight announcements will be contained to gate areas. Any essential announcements will be made across the terminal.

You can also check the status of your flight through the Sydney Airport website, @flySYD Facebook and Twitter.

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Security

Security is a service and a government requirement that provides safe travel for all passengers and is an important part of your journey. Sometimes the security process may feel stressful. We encourage you become familiar with the following information and to take your time as you move through the security process.

Location of Security

Security is on the same level as Check-In. If it is not immediately visible to you, ask staff at the check-in counter or one of our volunteer Airport Ambassadors to direct you.

Clearing Security with ease

The key to clearing security with ease is to be prepared and remain calm. Remember security is a service that ensures your safety. You can help the flow of the security process by

  • Having your ticket and passport ready (if travelling from T1 International)
  • Providing all supporting medical documentation (i.e., letter from relevant qualified medical professional) and medicine lists (including powdered supplements) to security staff
  • You also have the choice to use Lane 3, which is a dedicated assistance aisle

Getting to know the security process

Always leave ample time to make your way through security, particularly if you have implants, pacemakers, walk aids and or other prosthesis.

During the security process, you will be asked to take part in a security screening (i.e., X-ray, Body Scanner and Metal Detector) or a physical search (or pat down) and/ an Explosive Trace Detection (ETD).

X-ray

  • Your personal items will be placed on the conveyor belt for screening. If you use a walking aid or a wheelchair, it will be screened using an x-ray
  • There are chairs available for you to use during this process, if needed
  • If you need your walking aid, to move through the Body Scanner and Metal Detector, security staff will provide a walking stick to use as they scan your personal walking aid

xray

Body Scanner and Metal Detectors

  • For passengers who use a wheelchair, you will be asked by security staff if you can walk through the Body Scanner or Metal Detector. If you can walk unaided you can proceed through the Body Scanner and Metal Detector
  • If you use a assistance animal, you will be asked to walk through the security metal detector with your assistance animal (harness attached)

Body scanner

Physical Search or pat down

  • If you are unable to walk through the Body Scanner or Metal Detector, you will be asked by security staff for your consent to participate in a physical or pat down search
  • Provide security staff with all relevant medical information
  • If you prefer, you can ask to have this search completed in a private room and/ with someone of the same gender as you

Physical search

Explosive Trace Detectors (ETD)

  • You may be selected for a random ETD test. This is completed just after the x-ray and Body Scanner and Metal Detector screening
  • Security staff will ask if you have completed an ETD previously, and if not, they will explain the process.

ETD

You will find more detailed information on security at Sydney Airport here.


Passport control


If you’re departing from T1 International terminal, you will be required to go through passport control either electronically via SmartGate or manually with an Australian Border Force (ABF) Officer.

Families travelling with young children, passengers who are unable to use Smartgate without assistance and those with non-scannable passports will be directed to an Australian Border Force Officer for manual processing.

How to use SmartGates

  • Place your passport into the passport reader
  • Collect your passport when the passport reader returns it
  • Select your flight if asked by SmartGate
  • Step into the departures SmartGate
  • Look at the camera while it takes your photograph
  • The gates will open. Exit with your bags

If using the departures SmartGates does not work for you, you will be checked by an Australian Border Force officer.


Making your way through the terminal

Once you have cleared security you may have time to enjoy the facilities at Sydney Airport. Using the lifts is advised if you have luggage with you. There are also escalators provided.

Throughout the airport, you will find many retail shops, including duty free shopping and varied food and beverage outlet. You will also find facilities such as accessible bathrooms, pharmacies, ATMS, drinking fountains, charging station, printers, public telephones and TTY phones. A full list of accessible sergices and facilities can be found here.

Free Wi-Fi and Internet kiosks are available throughout T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals.

If you are walking to your gate, orientate yourself by looking out for signage. To assist with wayfinding through the terminal you can use:

  • In terminal wayfinding kiosks
  • Google Maps
  • Apple Maps
  • Baidu
  • Skyteam App

You can view or download our terminal maps here.

Medical assistance

If you require immediate medical assistance, please present yourself to any airport employee or volunteer ambassador and request Sydney Airport First Aid.


At the gate

Accessing your plane

An aircraft is accessed usually via ramps and aerobridge. If you need wheelchair assistance, please pre-arrange with the airline 48 hours prior.

Boarding your plane

Boarding will be managed by your airline. General timings are listed as below.

TerminalArrive to gate
T1 International60 minutes prior
T2 Domestic30 minutes prior

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Preparing for arrival

Disembarking


Most aircrafts will usually disembark via an aerobridge, however some flights may require passengers to exit via stairs to the tarmac.

If you have advised your airline of your additional assistance requirements, assistance will be ready and available to you.


Passport control


If you are arriving on an international flight you will need to participate in passport control processes. Please make sure you have your passport, visa (if applicable) and completed incoming passenger card which you would have received on board the aircraft.

You will be required to go through passport control either electronically via SmartGate or manually with an Australian Border Force (ABF) Officer.

Families travelling with young children, passengers who are unable to use Smartgate without assistance and those with non-scannable passports will be directed to an Australian Border Force Officer for manual processing.

Quarantine and Biosecurity

To help protect Australia’s environment, Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Australian Border Force Officers screen all incoming international passengers and their belongings.

It is mandatory to declare certain items on your Incoming Passenger Card. Your bags may be checked as part of this process.

If you have any specific enquiries regarding these procedures including additional information on assistance animals please contact the Department of Home Affairs or the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.


Baggage reclaim


You will now collect your luggage from the baggage reclaim area. If you require assistance removing your luggage from the carousel, please make direct contact with your airline.

baggage reclaim

Delayed baggage

If you’re unable to locate your bag on arrival from the baggage reclaim, you will need to approach airline staff at the airport to complete a report to describe your bag in detail, along with your contact information and delivery address. You can follow up with your airline’s ground handler here.

Transfer flights

Your airline will be able to advise if you need to collect your luggage, before transferring for your next flight.

If you are transferring from the International terminal to Domestic terminal, all passengers must collect their luggage and pass through passport control and Quarantine requirements before transferring to the Domestic Terminal.


Leaving the airport

Terminal transfers


The following options are available if you are transferring between T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals. Should you require assistance, please contact your airline to see what assistance they are able to offer.

If you are transferring on a Qantas or Virgin Australia flight, you may be eligible to use an airline transfer service. For more information and to confirm your eligibility please click here.

T-Bus Service

  • The T-Bus is a complimentary and regular loop service (between 6:00am - 8:50pm), between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals.

  • It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete the ride between terminals, depending on traffic conditions.

  • The T-Bus is wheelchair accessible and the bus stop is located on the Arrivals level of each terminal.

TBUS

Train

  • Airport Link offers a $6.40 (one way, per person) single transfer ticket for passengers travelling between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals via train. However, pricing does vary if the traveller is using an Opal Card.

  • The journey takes only two minutes and there are frequent services between 5am and midnight, seven days a week.

Trains

Taxi

  • Kerbside staff can assist you with organising specific requirements you have for transport (i.e., wheelchair accessible taxis).

  • A taxi journey between T1 International and the T2/T3 Domestic terminals will take up to 10 minutes, depending on the time of day

  • The approximate cost for this journey is $17.00 - $22.00 (one way, per taxi)

taxi


Transport options from the airport


There are many ground transport options available for all passengers departing from all of our terminals including: car, bus, train, shuttle, taxi, ride share operators such as Uber and UberAssist, rental cars, limousines, self drive and, bikes.

More information can be found here.


Picking up at the airport


Two accessible pick up spaces are available on the Arrivals level of all terminals with wheelchair ramps. Drivers must remain with their vehicle at all times.

Express up 3

Pick up when no Mobility Parking Permit is displayed

If you are picking up a passenger with a disability, and as a driver you do not have a Mobility Parking Permit, the driver may utilise the disabled zones. However, the passenger with the disability must be waiting at the kerbside.


Other information

Journey Planner


Download and print our helpful Journey Planner before you travel. Refer to the planner throughout your journey for tips, reminders and useful contact information.


Accessible facilities


For a full list of accessible facilities throughout our T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals, visit our Accessible Facilities and Services page.


Feedback

We monitor the service delivery at all Sydney Airport services and facilities. We aim to address and resolve any issues that arise by:

  • Complying with Part 8 of the Airport Act of 1996 and Airport Regulations 1997
  • Participating in Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) surveys
  • Independently running customer satisfaction surveys
  • Providing a complaints monitoring and reporting system managed by Sydney Airport’s Customer Experience team
  • Implementing various communication strategies