Predicting future aviation

Forecasts of peak period passengers, aircraft movements and air freight volumes provide the fundamental basis of the planning of aircraft facilities at Sydney Airport.

Air traffic forecasts have been independently prepared in consultation with the major international, domestic and regional airlines and airline associations, to ensure that the planning context for the Master Plan 2039 is robust and provides confidence for our organisation and our stakeholders.

Total air passenger numbers are forecast to increase by 51% over the planning period, from 43.3 million in 2017 to 65.6 million in 2039.

In 2039, Sydney Airport is projected to handle approximately:

Growth in total aircraft movements is expected to be lower than passenger growth.  This reflects airline feedback and expectations regarding continued up-gauging of aircraft and increases in seat density and load factors.

We anticipate that the aviation industry’s shift towards larger, cleaner and quieter next generation aircraft will continue, and passenger numbers will continue to grow at a faster rate than aircraft movements.  This has positive outcomes for noise and environmental impacts.

All forecasts assume that from late 2026, Sydney basin’s aviation demand will be served by two international airports, being Sydney Airport and Western Sydney Airport.  Master Plan 2039 assumes that the existing flight paths will remain unchanged throughout the planning period.

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