As we continue to attract strong passenger growth, we’ve improved service standards to meet airline and passenger demands and provide an enhanced airport experience.

Fast facts about Aeronautical Services

Sydney Airport provides terminal and airfield infrastructure for use by our airline customers. Revenues are derived from charges for use of this infrastructure, which are mainly charged on a per passenger basis. Increases in passenger numbers and infrastructure investment drive revenue growth. We also provide security services, which are recovered at cost from our airline customers.

The 2016 year saw continued passenger growth, driven largely by high load factors, increased seat capacity as airlines introduced larger aircraft, and new routes from existing and new carriers. Revenue increased as a result of this growth in total passengers, along with an increase in international charges from 1 July 2016 and the impact of the first full year of operations since the T3 transaction.

Our investment program across the airport precinct has supported the growth of our aeronautical charges, allowing Sydney Airport to better meet increasing passenger demand.

We’ve continued to deliver growth and resilience through the economic cycle, as we benefit from our proximity to Asia and the growing Asia Pacific market.

Working with our partners to deliver a safer airport

The safety and security of all aspects of our operations is Sydney Airport’s highest priority.

In October, Sydney Airport won the Australian Airports Association Project – Major Airport Award for its incident and emergency management strategy. This strategy has significantly enhanced safety at the airport through new tools and technology. It has also driven new initiatives such as improved communications systems, better weather tracking and forecasts, and greater collaboration with airport stakeholders.

We expect to see enhanced safety and security outcomes resulting from the establishment of our new Integrated Operations Centre (IOC), incorporating our Emergency Operations Centre, which opened in November. The new, world-class IOC brings together the latest technology and innovation to improve operational resilience, flexibility, scalability and collaboration with our key stakeholders.

Revenue 2016
Revenue contribution to the Group
Aeronautical revenue*

*Excludes aeronautical security recovery

A geographically diverse
international market

Passenger numbers by geography

Increasing seat capacity to support a diverse passenger base

International passenger growth was its strongest in 12 years, with an additional two million international seats entering the Sydney market in 2016. We experienced double digit passenger growth across many of our major markets, including China, the United States, India, Korea, Japan and Indonesia. This strong growth across several regions has delivered a diverse passenger base, building resilience throughout the economic cycle.

Sydney Airport confirmed several upgauges, and increased service frequencies on existing routes, as airlines looked to maximise passenger demand to key locations. This reflected the importance of working with existing airline business partners to drive growth at Sydney Airport, and saw increased seat capacity across our diverse range of markets. In November, Sydney Airport confirmed its position as the world’s fourth busiest airport for A380 international arrivals, with A380 scheduled services representing 17% of international capacity by year end. The increasing use of A380 services to and from Sydney Airport has supported overall passenger growth, with eight airlines operating the A380 to Sydney during the holiday peak in December 2016.


“International passenger growth was its strongest in 12 years, with an additional two million international seats entering the Sydney market.”

Leveraging our advantages – growth in China

Sydney Airport is the world’s leading airport for Chinese long haul routes, with seven airlines flying to 14 Chinese cities by January 2017. The year saw the announcement of six new routes to Chinese cities, reflecting continued, strong passenger demand from China.

This significant growth reflected our proven approach to working with airline business partners to establish new routes and attract new services to Sydney. We leveraged our geographical advantage and built on our position of leadership in the Chinese long haul market to attract a wider range of Chinese services. Chinese residents are now Sydney Airport’s largest foreign inbound passenger market.

In recognition of this, we continued to provide a range of China ready initiatives to welcome Chinese passengers, including Mandarin speaking Airport Ambassadors, information in simplified Chinese, support of events such as Lunar New Year, and tailored retail, food and beverage offerings.

The growth of the China market received a further boost in December, with the signing of an historic new China-Australia air services agreement. The agreement immediately removed all capacity restrictions on airlines flying to and from Chinese cities and is expected to support further growth of this important market in 2017 and beyond.

While the year saw strong growth from this market, China represents less than 10% of overall international passenger numbers. China is an important part of our diverse passenger base, as we look to deliver growth across all our major markets.


T1 International

with 25 contact gates
including 6 A380
capable gates

T2 Domestic

with 21 contact gates

T3 Domestic

with 15 contact gates

Freight Facilities

for 8 international
and 3 domestic
freight operators

Driving operational efficiency through collaboration

The international airline agreements signed in 2015 saw a step change in our collaboration with our airline partners and a concerted focus on delivering outcomes. We have committed to improving terminal presentation standards at T1 International from Silver to Gold level. This has seen the implementation of a wide range of terminal improvements during the year as we’ve delivered on this commitment.

We also worked together with our airline partners to drive performance and improve efficiencies across the key areas of baggage, passenger facilitation, peak planning, resource allocation and bussing.

An example of the close collaboration with our stakeholders during the year was the establishment of our ground handlers’ forum. The forum saw Sydney Airport work closely with airlines and their ground handlers to implement check-in and baggage management enhancements, leading to improved baggage outcomes. Supported by streamlined check-in processes for our customers and passengers, Sydney Airport’s missed bag rate has reduced, and now outperforms the global industry average.

Overall, these engagement activities supported our shared focus on improving the On Time Performance (OTP) of our airlines, by realising new efficiencies across every aspect of the airport process.

 2017 outlook

Sydney Airport will continue to seek new growth opportunities in 2017. The recent China-Australia air services agreement is expected to generate a new wave of Chinese growth, with increases in service frequency expected from our extensive network in China. Further demand from the Middle East, New Zealand and other Asian markets is also expected, providing opportunities to work with our airline business partners to identify new routes and additional seat capacity.