Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport
Sydney Airport logo.svg
Sydney Airport (Kingsford Smith) - aerial (cropped).jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerSydney Airport Holdings
OperatorSydney Airport Corporation
LocationMascot, New South Wales, Australia
Opened9 January 1920; 102 years ago (1920-01-09)
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL21 ft / 6 m
Coordinates33°56′46″S 151°10′38″E / 33.94611°S 151.17722°E / -33.94611; 151.17722Coordinates: 33°56′46″S 151°10′38″E / 33.94611°S 151.17722°E / -33.94611; 151.17722
SYD/YSSY is located in Sydney
SYD/YSSY is located in New South Wales
SYD/YSSY is located in Australia
SYD/YSSY is located in Oceania
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 2,530 8,301 Asphalt
16L/34R 2,438 7,999 Asphalt
16R/34L 3,962 12,999 Asphalt
Passengers (Dec 2017 to Nov 2018)44,443,927[1]
Aircraft movements (2013–2014)327,190[3]
Airfreight in tonnes (2012)444,419[2]
Economic & social impacts (2012)$13.2 billion & 146 thousand[4]
Source: AIP[5]
Passenger and aircraft movements from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics[2]

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (colloquially Mascot Airport, Kingsford Smith Airport, or Sydney Airport; IATA: SYD, ICAO: YSSY; ASXSYD) is an international airport in Sydney, Australia, located 8 km (5 mi) south of the Sydney central business district, in the suburb of Mascot. The airport is owned by Sydney Airport Holdings. It is the primary airport serving Sydney, and is a primary hub for Qantas, as well as a secondary hub for Virgin Australia and Jetstar, as well as a focus city for Air New Zealand. Situated next to Botany Bay, the airport has three runways.

Sydney Airport is one of the world's longest continuously operated commercial airports[6] and is the busiest airport in Australia, handling 42.6 million passengers[7] and 348,904 aircraft movements[8] in 2016–17. It was the 38th busiest airport in the world in 2016. Currently 46 domestic and 43 international destinations are served to Sydney directly.

Sydney Airport taxiway going over a major road
Sydney Airport taxiway going over a major road

In 2018, the airport was rated in the top five worldwide for airports handling 40–50 million passengers annually and was overall voted the 20th best airport in the world at the Skytrax World Airport Awards.[9]


KLM Douglas DC-8 at Gate 2 of the International Terminal in 1972
KLM Douglas DC-8 at Gate 2 of the International Terminal in 1972
Qantas aircraft at Terminal 3
Qantas aircraft at Terminal 3
Sydney Airport Air Traffic Control Tower

See also: Mascot, New South Wales § History

1911–1930: Early history

The land used for the airport had been a bullock paddock, with a lot of the area around Mascot being swampy.[10] Flights had been taking off from at least 1911 from these fields, with aviators using other Sydney locations like Anderson Park, Neutral Bay for a few years prior.[11] Nigel Love, who had been a pilot in the First World War, was interested in establishing the nation's first aircraft manufacturing company. This idea would require him to establish a factory and an aerodrome close to the city. A real estate office in Sydney told him of some land owned by the Kensington Race Club that was being kept as a hedge against its losing its government-owned site at Randwick. It had been used by a local abattoir which was closing down, to graze sheep and cattle.[citation needed] This land appealed to Love as the surface was perfectly flat and was covered with a pasture of buffalo grass. The grass had been grazed so evenly by the sheep and cattle that it required little to make it serviceable for aircraft.[citation needed] In addition, the approaches on all four sides had no obstructions, it was bounded by Ascot Racecourse, gardens, a river and Botany Bay.

Love established the airfield at Mascot as a private concern, leasing 80 hectares (200 acres) from the Kensington Race Club for three years. It initially had a small canvas structure but was later equipped with an imported Richards hangar. The first flight from Mascot was in November 1919 when Love carried freelance movie photographer Billy Marshall up in an Avro. The official opening flight took place on 9 January 1920, also performed by Love.[12]

In 1921, the Commonwealth Government purchased 65 hectares (161 acres) in Mascot for the purpose of creating a public airfield. In 1923, when Love's three-year lease expired, the Mascot land was compulsorily acquired by the Commonwealth Government from the racing club.[10] The first regular flights began in 1924.


In 1933, the first gravel runways were built. By 1949 the airport had three runways – the 1,085-metre (3,560 ft) 11/29, the 1,190-metre (3,904 ft) 16/34 and the 1,787-metre (5,863 ft) 04/22. The Sydenham to Botany railway line crossed the latter runway approximately 150 metres (490 ft) from the northern end and was protected by special safeworking facilities.[13] The Cooks River was diverted away from the area in 1947–52 to provide more land for the airport and other small streams were filled. Sydney Airport was declared an aerodrome in 1920. On 14 August 1936 the airport was renamed Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport[14] in honour of pioneering Australian aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Up to the early 1960s the majority of Sydneysiders referred to the airport as Mascot. The first paved runway was 07/25. The next runway constructed, 16/34 (now 16R/34L), was extended into Botany Bay to accommodate jet aircraft, which started arriving in 1959.[15] Runway 07/25 is used mainly by lighter aircraft, but is used by all aircraft including Airbus A380s when conditions require. Runway 16R/34L is presently the longest operational runway in Australia, with a paved length of 4,400 m (14,300 ft) and 3,920 m (12,850 ft) between the zebra thresholds. Runway 16L/34R is mainly used by domestic aircraft and aircraft up to the size of A330/B787/B772/A359, but is used by large aircraft such as B77W/A35K/B747/A380 when no other runway is available.

Modern history

The airport and its surrounds from above, 2016
The airport and its surrounds from above, 2016

By the 1960s, the need for a new international terminal had become apparent, and work commenced in late 1966. Much of the new terminal was designed by Paynter and Dixon Industries with Costain appointed lead contractor.[16][17]

The new terminal was officially opened on 3 May 1970, by Queen Elizabeth II. The first Boeing 747 "Jumbo Jet" at the airport, Pan Am's Clipper Flying Cloud (N734PA), arrived on 4 October 1970. The east–west runway was then 2,500 m (8,300 ft) long;[18] in the 1970s the north–south runway was expanded to become one of the longest runways in the southern hemisphere. The international terminal was expanded in 1992[citation needed] and has undergone several refurbishments since then, including a major one in early 2000 in time for the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney. The airport underwent another project development that began in 2010 to extend the transit zone which brought new duty free facilities, shops & leisure areas for passengers.[citation needed]

The limitations of having only two runways that crossed each other had become apparent and governments grappled with Sydney's airport capacity for decades. Eventually the controversial decision to build a third runway was made. The third runway was parallel to the existing runway 16/34, entirely on reclaimed land from Botany Bay. A proposed new airport on the outskirts of Sydney was shelved in 2004, before being re-examined in 2009–2012 following reports that Kingsford Smith airport will not be able to cope by 2030.


The "third runway", which the Commonwealth government commenced development of in 1989 and completed in 1994, remained controversial because of increased aircraft movements, especially over inner suburbs. In 1995 the No Aircraft Noise party was formed to contest the 1995 New South Wales state election. The party did not win a seat in parliament, but came close in the electorate of Marrickville.[19] It also contested the 1996 Australian federal election.

In 1995, the Australian Parliament passed the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995, which limits the operating hours of the airport. This was done in an effort to reduce airport noise over residential areas and thereby curb complaints. The curfew prevents aircraft from taking off or landing between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am. A limited number of scheduled and approved take-offs and landings are permitted respectively in the "shoulder periods" of 11 pm to midnight and 5 am to 6 am. The Act does not stop all aircraft movements overnight, but limits noise by restricting the types of aircraft that can operate, the runways they can use and the number of flights allowed.[20] During extreme weather, flights are often delayed and it is often the case that people on late flights are unable to travel on a given day. As of 2009, fines for violating curfew have been levied against four airlines, with a maximum fine of A$550,000 applicable.[21]

In addition to the curfew, Sydney Airport also has a cap of 80 aircraft movements per hour which cannot be exceeded, leading to increased delays during peak hours.[22]

In 1998 the Federal Government agreed to separate Sydney Airport from the Federal Airports Corporation and to incorporate it as Sydney Airport Corporation and appointed David Mortimer as Chair and Tony Stuart as CEO. Its mandate was to successfully redevelop the airport as the gateway for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, support the growth of new airlines such as Virgin and Emirates, and prepare it for a successful $3 billion plus privatisation. In 2001 Sydney Airport was awarded World's best Airport. In preparation for privatisation the airport argued successfully for a new regulatory regime.


In 2002, the Commonwealth Government sold Sydney Airport Corporation (SAC), to Southern Cross Airports Corporation Holdings for $5.4 billion. 83 per cent of SAC is owned by MAp Airports International Limited, a subsidiary of Macquarie Group, Sydney Airport Intervest GmbH own 12 per cent and Ontario Teachers' Australia Trust own 5 per cent.[23] SACL holds a 99-year lease on the airport which remains Crown land and as such is categorised as a Leased Federal Airport.[24]

Since the international terminal's original completion, it has undergone two large expansions. One such expansion is underway and will stretch over twenty years (2005–25). This will include an additional high-rise office block, the construction of a multi-level car park, the expansion of both international and domestic terminals. These expansions—and other plans and policies by Macquarie Bank for airport operations—are seen as controversial, as they are performed without the legal oversight of local councils, which usually act as the local planning authority for such developments. As of April 2006, some of the proposed development has been scaled back.[25]

Sydney Airport's International terminal underwent a $500 million renovation that was completed in mid-2010. The upgrade includes a new baggage system, an extra 7,300 m2 (78,577 sq ft) of space for shops and passenger waiting areas and other improvements.[26]

In March 2010, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission released a report sharply critical of price gouging at Sydney airport, ranking it fifth out of five airports. The report noted Sydney Airport recorded the highest average prices at $13.63 per passenger, compared to the lowest of $7.96 at Melbourne Airport, while the price of short-term parking had almost doubled in the 2008–09 financial year, from $28 to $50 for four hours. The report also accused the airport of abusing its monopoly power.[27]


This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2020)

In December 2011, Sydney Airport announced a proposal to divide the airport into two airline-alliance-based precincts; integrating international, domestic and regional services under the one roof by 2019. The current domestic Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 would be used by Qantas, Jetstar and members of the oneworld airline alliance while today's international Terminal 1 would be used by Virgin Australia and its international partners. Other international airlines would continue to operate from T1.[28]

In September 2012, Sydney Airport Managing Director and CEO Kerrie Mather announced the airport had abandoned the proposal to create alliance-based terminals in favour of terminals "based around specific airline requirements and (passenger) transfer flows". She stated the plan was to minimise the number of passengers transferring between terminals.[29]

In June 2013, the airport released a draft version of its 2033 Masterplan, which proposes operating domestic and international flights from the same terminals using 'swing gates', along with upgrading Terminal 3 (currently the Qantas domestic terminal) to accommodate the Airbus A380.[30][31]

On 17 February 2014, the Australian Government approved Sydney Airport's Master Plan 2033,[32] which outlines the airport's plans to cater for forecast demand of 74 million passengers in 2033. The plan includes Sydney Airport's first ever integrated ground transport plan.[33]


Airport Map
Airport Map

Sydney Airport has three passenger terminals. The International Terminal is separated from the other two by a runway; therefore, connecting passengers need to allow for longer transfer times.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1
Terminal 1

Terminal 1 was opened on 3 May 1970, replacing the old Overseas Passenger Terminal (which was located where Terminal 3 stands now) and has been greatly expanded since then. Today it is known as the International Terminal, located in the airport's north western sector. It has 25 gates (thirteen in concourse B numbered 8–37, and twelve in concourse C numbered 50–63) served by aerobridges. Pier B is used by Qantas, all Oneworld members and all Skyteam members (except Delta Air Lines). Pier C is used by Virgin Australia and its partners (including Delta) as well as all Star Alliance members. There are also a number of remote bays which are heavily utilised during peak periods and for parking of idle aircraft during the day.

The terminal building is split into three levels, one each for arrivals, departures and airline offices. The departure level has 20 rows of check-in desks each with 10 single desks making a total of 200 check-in desks. The terminal hosts eight airline lounges: two for Qantas, and one each for The House,[34] Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, American Express and SkyTeam. The terminal underwent a major $500 million redevelopment that was completed in 2010, by which the shopping complex was expanded, outbound customs operations were centralised and the floor space of the terminal increased to 254,000 square metres (2,730,000 sq ft).[35] Further renovations began in 2015 with a reconfiguration and decluttering of outbound and inbound duty-free areas, extension of the airside dining areas and installation of Australian Border Force outbound immigration SmartGates. These works were completed in 2016.[36]

Terminal 2

Terminals 2 and 3
Terminals 2 and 3

Terminal 2, located in the airport's north-eastern section, is a domestic terminal and the former home of Ansett Australia's domestic operations. It features 20 parking bays served by aerobridges and several remote bays for regional aircraft. It serves FlyPelican, Jetstar, Rex Airlines and Virgin Australia. There are lounges for Regional Express Airlines and Virgin Australia.[citation needed]

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 is a domestic terminal, serving Qantas with QantasLink flights having moved their operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 on 16 August 2013.[37][38] Originally, it was home for Trans Australia Airlines (later named Australian Airlines). It is located in the north-eastern section adjacent to Terminal 2, with which it shares an underground train station.

The current terminal building is largely the result of extensions designed by Hassell that were completed in 1999. This included construction of a 60-metre roof span above a new column-free checkin hall and resulted in extending the terminal footprint to 80,000 square metres.[39] There are 14 parking bays served by aerobridges, including two served by dual aerobridges. Terminal 3 features a large Qantas Club lounge, along with a dedicated Business Class and Chairmans lounge. Terminal 3 also has a 'Heritage Collection' located adjacent to gate 13, dedicated to Qantas and including many collections from the airline's 90-plus years of service. It also has a view of the airport's apron and is used commonly by plane-spotters.

In 2015, Qantas sold its lease of Terminal 3, which was due to continue until 2019, back to Sydney Airport for $535 million. This means Sydney Airport resumes operational responsibility of the terminal, including the lucrative retail areas.[40]

Other terminals

Sydney Airport previously had a fourth passenger terminal, east of Terminal 2. This was formerly known as Domestic Express[41] and was used by Regional Express Airlines, and low-cost carriers Virgin Blue (now known as Virgin Australia) and the now-defunct Impulse Airlines,[42] during the time Terminal 2 was closed following the collapse of Ansett Australia. It is now used as an office building.

Freight terminals

The airport is a major hub for freight transport to and from Australia handling approximately 45 percent of the national cargo traffic. Therefore, it is equipped with extensive freight facilities including seven dedicated cargo terminals operated by several handlers.[43]

Airlines and destinations


Air Canada Vancouver
Air China Beijing–Capital, Chengdu–Shuangliu
Air India Delhi
Air New Zealand Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington
Air Niugini Port Moresby
Air Vanuatu Port Vila[44]
AirAsia X Auckland (begins 1 November 2022),[45] Kuala Lumpur–International[46]
Aircalin Nouméa
All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Haneda
American Airlines Los Angeles
Asiana Airlines Seoul–Incheon
Bamboo Airways Ho Chi Minh City[47]
Batik Air Malaysia Denpasar, Kuala Lumpur–International[48]
Beijing Capital Airlines Qingdao[49]
British Airways London–Heathrow, Singapore
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
Cebu Pacific Manila[50]
China Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern Airlines Beijing–Daxing, Kunming, Nanjing, Shanghai–Pudong, Wuhan,[51] Xi'an
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou, Shenzhen
Delta Air Lines Los Angeles
Emirates Christchurch (resumes 26 March 2023),[52][53] Dubai–International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Fiji Airways Nadi, Suva[54]
FlyPelican Bathurst,[55] Cobar,[56] Mudgee,[57] Taree[58]
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta
Hainan Airlines Changsha,[59] Haikou[60]
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu
Japan Airlines Tokyo–Haneda[61]
Jetstar Adelaide, Auckland, Avalon, Ayers Rock, Ballina, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Denpasar, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hervey Bay,[62] Hobart, Ho Chi Minh City,[63] Honolulu, Launceston, Melbourne, Nadi, Perth, Phuket, Proserpine,[64] Queenstown, Seoul–Incheon (begins 2 November 2022),[65] Sunshine Coast, Townsville
Seasonal: Mackay
Korean Air Seoul–Incheon
LATAM Chile Auckland, Santiago de Chile[66]
Link Airways Brisbane[citation needed], Canberra,[67] Inverell,[68] Narrabri,[69] Tamworth[70]
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Philippine Airlines Manila
Qantas Adelaide, Alice Springs, Apia–Faleolo,[71] Auckland, Ayers Rock,[72] Bangalore,[73] Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Christchurch, Dallas/Fort Worth, Darwin, Denpasar, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Nadi,[74] New York–JFK (resumes 14 June 2023),[75] Norfolk Island, Nouméa, Nuku'alofa,[76] Osaka–Kansai, Perth, Queenstown, San Francisco (resumes 27 March 2023),[77] Santiago de Chile, Seoul–Incheon (begins 10 December 2022),[65] Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Sunshine Coast, Tokyo–Haneda,[78] Vancouver, Wellington
Seasonal: Broome, Rome–Fiumicino,[79] Sapporo–Chitose[80]
QantasLink Albury, Armidale, Ballina,[81][82] Bendigo,[83] Broken Hill,[84] Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Gold Coast, Griffith, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Launceston,[85] Lord Howe Island, Merimbula,[86] Mildura,[87] Moree, Orange,[88] Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast, Tamworth, Toowoomba Wellcamp, Townsville,[72] Wagga Wagga
Seasonal: Cooma[89]
Qatar Airways Doha
Rex Airlines Albury, Armidale, Brisbane,[90] Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Cooma,[91] Dubbo, Gold Coast, Griffith, Melbourne,[92] Merimbula, Moruya, Narrandera, Newcastle, Orange, Parkes, Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga
Samoa Airways Apia–Faleolo[93]
Scoot Singapore
Sichuan Airlines Chongqing, Ürümqi
Singapore Airlines Singapore
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike[94]
Thai AirAsia X Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi (begins 2 December 2022)[95]
Thai Airways International Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Tianjin Airlines Tianjin, Zhengzhou[96]
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental,[97] Los Angeles,[98] San Francisco
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Virgin Australia Adelaide, Apia–Faleolo,[99] Ballina, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Denpasar, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Nadi, Perth, Port Vila (begins 21 March 2023),[100] Queenstown, Sunshine Coast, Townsville
XiamenAir Xiamen


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A McDonnell Douglas MD-11F of FedEx Express taxiing to the cargo terminal at Sydney Airport; Terminal 3 is in the background
A McDonnell Douglas MD-11F of FedEx Express taxiing to the cargo terminal at Sydney Airport; Terminal 3 is in the background
Airwork Auckland[101]
Cathay Pacific CargoHong Kong, Melbourne
DHL AviationAuckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Melbourne, Nouméa, Singapore
Emirates SkyCargoDubai–Al Maktoum, Hong Kong, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Singapore
FedEx ExpressAuckland, Guangzhou, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Manila, Singapore[102]
Garuda Cargo Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta
Kalitta AirLos Angeles,[103] Singapore[103]
MASkargoDa Nang, Kuala Lumpur–International
Polar Air CargoHonolulu, Melbourne
Qantas FreightAuckland, Brisbane, Chicago–O'Hare, Chongqing, Christchurch, Gold Coast, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta–Soekarno Hatta, Melbourne, Shanghai–Pudong
Singapore Airlines CargoAuckland, Melbourne, Singapore
Toll PriorityBrisbane, Melbourne
UPS AirlinesHonolulu, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore
Virgin Australia CargoBrisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Townsville

Second Sydney airport

Main articles: Second Sydney Airport and Western Sydney Airport

The local, state and federal governments have investigated the viability of building a second major airport in Sydney since the 1940s.[104] Significant passenger growth at Sydney Airport indicates the potential need for a second airport – for example, total passenger numbers increased from less than 10 million in 1985–86 to over 25 million in 2000–01, and over 40 million in 2015–16.[7] This growth is expected to continue, with Sydney region passenger demand forecast to reach 87 million passengers by 2035.[105]

On 15 April 2014, the Federal Government announced that Badgerys Creek would be Sydney's second international airport, to be known as Western Sydney Airport.[106] Press releases suggest that the airport will not be subject to curfews and will open in phases, initially with a single airport runway and terminal.[107] It would be linked to Sydney Airport by local roads and motorways, and by extensions to the existing suburban rail network.[108] In May 2017 the Federal Government announced it would build (pay for) the second Sydney Airport, after the Sydney Airport Group declined the Government's offer to build the second airport.[109]

The new airport will be completed in 2026.

Traffic statistics

International destinations from Sydney Airport
International destinations from Sydney Airport
Terminal 1
Terminal 1
Terminal 2 airside
Terminal 2 airside
Terminal 3 check-in area
Terminal 3 check-in area


Annual passenger traffic at SYD airport. See Wikidata query.


Sydney Airport handled over 27.5 million domestic passengers in the year ending 30 June 2019.[110]

Busiest domestic routes (year ending 30 June 2019)[110]
Rank Airport Passengers handled % Change
1 Melbourne 9,196,196 Decrease0.5
2 Brisbane 4,814,327 Increase0.6
3 Gold Coast 2,692,036 Decrease2.2
4 Adelaide 1,877,296 Decrease1.6
5 Perth 1,690,364 Decrease1.7
6 Cairns 1,103,224 Decrease2.7
7 Canberra 927,291 Decrease2.6
8 Hobart 712,602 Increase3.8
9 Sunshine Coast 644,570 Increase5.2
10 Ballina 432,585 Increase1.8
11 Coffs Harbour 331,522 Decrease4.3
12 Darwin 310,274 Decrease2.5
13 Launceston 289,614 Increase2.2
14 Albury 228,654 Increase3.1
15 Hamilton Island 202,514 Increase1.3


Sydney Airport handled 22.9 million international passengers in the year ending 30 June 2019.[111]

Busiest international routes (year ending 30 June 2019)[111]
Rank Airport Passengers handled % change
1 Auckland 1,581,489 Increase2.2
2 Singapore 1,510,858 Decrease0.6
3 Hong Kong 1,231,958 Increase14.4
4 Los Angeles 903,744 Increase4.0
5 Dubai 808,376 Increase1.0
6 Kuala Lumpur 631,828 Decrease9.2
7 Denpasar 613,198 Increase10.4
8 Bangkok 551,329 Decrease12.8
9 Abu Dhabi 525,692 Increase3.0
10 Nadi 495,208 Increase2.4
11 Doha 491,881 Increase31.5
12 Tokyo 489,669 Increase1.1
13 Christchurch 486,721 Decrease2.2
14 Shanghai 464,296 Decrease1.1
15 Honolulu 448,118 Decrease2.8

Tokyo includes services to both Haneda and Narita airports.


In 2019 Sydney Airport handled 521,014 tonnes of international air freight and 23,260 tonnes of international air mail.[7]


Public transport

Domestic Airport station on the Sydney Trains Airport & South Line

The airport is accessible via the Airport Link underground rail line. The International Airport station is located below the International terminal, while the Domestic Airport station is located under the car park between the domestic terminals (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3). While the stations are part of the Sydney Trains suburban network, they are privately owned and operated by the Airport Link Company and their use is subject to a surcharge.[112][113] The trains that service the airport are regular suburban trains. Unlike airport trains at some other airports, these do not have special provisions for customers with luggage, do not operate express to the airport and may have all seats occupied by commuters before the trains arrive at the airport.

Transdev John Holland operates route 350 from the domestic terminal to Bondi Junction railway station while Transit Systems operates route 420 from Mascot railway station to Westfield Burwood via both International and Domestic terminals, as well as Banksia and Rockdale railway stations.[114][115]

The airport station surcharge may be avoided by passengers alighting at nearby stations and walking to either the International Terminal (from Wolli Creek station, about 1.6 km) [116] or the Domestic Terminal (from Mascot station, about 1.8 km).[117]

Road access

Road entrance towards Terminals 2 and 3
Road entrance towards Terminals 2 and 3

Sydney Airport has road connections in all directions. Southern Cross Drive (M1), a motorway, is the fastest link with the city centre. The M5 South Western Motorway (including the M5 East Freeway) links the airport with the south-western suburbs of Sydney. A ring road runs around the airport consisting of Airport Drive, Qantas Drive, General Holmes Drive, M5 East Freeway and Marsh Street. General Holmes Drive features a tunnel under the main north–south runway and three taxiways as well as providing access to an aircraft viewing area. Inside the airport a part-ring road – Ross Smith Avenue (named after Ross MacPherson Smith) – connects the Domestic Terminal with the control tower, the general aviation area, car-rental company storage yards, long-term car park, heliport, various retail operations and a hotel. A perimeter road runs inside the secured area for authorised vehicles only.

The New South Wales Government plans to build the Sydney Gateway, a major road interchange between the WestConnex motorway and Sydney Airport's terminals. The project will provide a motorway-grade road directly to the terminals.[118] Construction is expected to begin in early 2021 and be open in 2024.[119]

The Airport runs several official car parks—Domestic Short Term, Domestic Remote Long Term, and International Short/Long Term.[120]

The International Terminal is located beside a wide pedestrian and bicycle path. It links Mascot and Sydney City in the north-east with Tempe (via a foot bridge over Alexandra Canal) and Botany Bay to the south-west. All terminals offer bicycle racks and are also easily accessible by foot from nearby areas.

Accidents and incidents

See also



  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Annual Report 2014 (PDF). Sydney Airport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Sydney airport – Economic and social impacts". Ecquants. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  5. ^ YSSY – SYDNEY/(Kingsford Smith) (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 2022-03-24
  6. ^ "Sydney Airport heritage". Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Airport Traffic Data 1985 to 2019". Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Movements at Australian Airports Financial Year 2017". Airservices Australia. Archived from the original on 12 January 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  9. ^ Skytrax. "Skytrax World Airport Awards 2019". Skytrax. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  10. ^ a b Steve Creedy (24 November 2009). "Bullock paddock grew to nation's busiest air hub". The Australian. News Corp. Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  11. ^ "100 years of Sydney Airport flying". 17 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Aerial joy riding. Tests at Mascot". Evening News. Sydney. 9 January 1920. p. 4. Archived from the original on 25 December 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  13. ^ Pollard, Neville (1988). Offal, Oil and Overseas Trade: The Story of the Sydenham to Botany Railway Line. Australia: Australian Railway Historical Society NSW Division. p. 51. ISBN 0909650217.
  14. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 9 August 1938 p.12
  15. ^ "Sydney Airport". Airport Master. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Paynter and Dixon". The Sun-Herald. 26 April 1970. p. 57.
  17. ^ Kingsford Smith Airport Australian Transport April 1968 page 43
  18. ^ Aviation Daily 27 July 1971
  19. ^ "1995 Election (various)". Antony Green's Electoral Publication Archive. ABC Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Airport Curfews – General Information" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  21. ^ Creedy, Steve (6 May 2009). "Jetstar fined for airport curfew breach". Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  22. ^ "Sydney Airport Runway Movement Cap Report for December quarter 2010" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Ownership". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  24. ^ Leased Federal Airports, Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 4 September 2014)
  25. ^ Sydney Morning Herald. 21 April 2006 issue
  26. ^ "International Terminal – Expansion and Upgrade". Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  27. ^ West, Andrew; Matt, O'Sullivan (12 March 2010). "ACCC slams price gouging at Sydney Airport". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  28. ^ "New Vision To Integrate International, Domestic and Regional Services". Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  29. ^ Ghee, Ryan (2012). "Integrated Terminals Central to Sydney Airport Vision". ACI Asia-Pacific Airports. PPS Publications Ltd. (Winter 2012): 13–14.
  30. ^ McKenny, Leesha (4 June 2013). "Airport says the sky's the limit". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  31. ^ "Sydney Airport Master Plan". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  32. ^ "Sydney Airport Master Plan Approved". 18 February 2014. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  33. ^ "Master Plan 2014". 18 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  34. ^ "Airline Lounges". Sydney Airport. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  35. ^ "Master Plan 2039". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ Nickell, Alena (16 August 2013). "Terminal take off for country passengers | St George & Sutherland Shire Leader". Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  38. ^ "QantasLink Terminal Change". Qantas. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  39. ^ "Qantas Domestic Terminal". Architravel. Achitravel. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  40. ^ Flynn, David (18 August 2015). "Qantas sells Sydney Airport terminal lease for $535 million". Australian Business Traveller. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  41. ^ Boyle, Jane (2 October 2002). "Virgin Blue fires new salvo at SACL". Australian Financial Review. The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  42. ^ "Impulse Airlines at Sydney Airport - Submission". Parliament of Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  43. ^ - Facts and figures Archived 18 June 2019 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 18 June 2019
  44. ^ Ashton, Chris (27 April 2022). "Air Vanuatu will resume flights from Australia in July". Executive Traveller. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  45. ^ Sabin, Brook (18 July 2022). "Air Asia launches $169 trans-Tasman flights — promising more competition". Stuff. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  46. ^ "AirAsia X Resumes Sydney Service From Sep 2022". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  47. ^ "Vietnam's Bamboo Airways Announces Sydney as Frankfurt Takes off". 28 February 2022.
  48. ^ "Malindo Air schedules Sydney launch in mid-August 2019". routesonline. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  49. ^ "Beijing Capital schedules Qingdao – Sydney launch in Oct 2017". routesonline. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  50. ^ "CEBU PACIFIC MOVES SYDNEY SERVICE RESUMPTION TO JULY 2022". aeroroutes. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  51. ^ "China Eastern reopens Wuhan – Sydney reservation from late-Jan 2017". routesonline. Archived from the original on 5 January 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  52. ^ "Emirates delays returning to Christchurch". Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  53. ^ Downes, Siobhan (5 May 2022). "All the international airlines and routes that are coming back to New Zealand". Stuff.
  54. ^ "Fiji Airways to connect Sydney and Suva". Archived from the original on 23 December 2013.
  55. ^ "Bathurst here we come!". 9 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  56. ^ Liu, Jim. "FlyPelican adds Cobar service from late-Sep 2019". Routesonline. Archived from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  57. ^ Watson, Elle (27 May 2015). "Fly Pelican [sic] announces starting date for flights". The Mudgee Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  58. ^ "FlyPelican to start Sydney-Taree flights". 3 January 2018. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  59. ^ "Hainan Airlines continues Changsha – Sydney service from mid-Sep 2019". routesonline. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  60. ^ "Hainan Airlines schedules Haikou – Sydney launch in 1Q18". routesonline. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  61. ^ "JAL files additional S20 Tokyo Haneda International routes". Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  62. ^ Brown, Vanessa (22 February 2021). "Jetstar launch new flight route Sydney to Hervey Bay for $59". News.Com.Au. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  63. ^ "Vietnam Just a bargain away with Jetstar to offer direct flights". Stuff. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  64. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Jetstar adds Sydney – Proserpine route from April 2017". Archived from the original on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  65. ^ a b "Qantas and jetstar expand Sydney gateway with new direct flights to India and Korea". 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  66. ^ "LATAM announces launch date for non-stop Santiago-Sydney service". LATAM. Archived from the original on 27 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  67. ^ "Link to start Sydney to Canberra". No. O. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  68. ^ "Fly Corporate pull the plug on Moree to Brisbane service". 21 February 2019. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  69. ^ "FlyCorporate adds Sydney service from Sep 2017". Archived from the original on 22 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  70. ^ "Announcement of new direct flights between Tamworth and Sydney". Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  71. ^ "Qantas Adds Tonga As A New Holiday Destination To Its Pacific Islands Network". 18 August 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  72. ^ a b "Qantas adds seven routes, increases widebody flying". 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  73. ^ McGuire, Amelia (14 September 2022). "Qantas takes off on historic new route to India". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  74. ^ "QANTAS SAYS 'BULA' TO FIJI WITH DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM SYDNEY". 21 January 2019. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  75. ^ Fox, Alison. "Qantas Will Resume Flights From NYC to Sydney After 3-year Pause". Travel + Leisure. New York: Dotdash Meredith. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  76. ^ Matt Lennon (18 August 2022). "Qantas connects Australia to Tonga with direct flights - Executive Traveller". Executive Traveller.
  77. ^ "Qantas San Francisco adjustment". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  78. ^ "Qantas delays restart of flights to Tokyo - Executive Traveller". 21 April 2022.
  79. ^ "Qantas to launch non-stop flights to Rome". Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  80. ^ "QANTAS TO LAUNCH SEASONAL FLIGHTS TO SAPPORO". 18 April 2019. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  81. ^ "Qantas adds Sydney – Ballina service from late-March 2020 | Routes". Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  82. ^ "Qantas group network changes". Qantas. 19 March 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  83. ^ "New Qantas service to fly from Bendigo to Sydney six days a week Local News". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  85. ^ "QantasLink launches Sydney-Launceston flights, brings back Sydney-Hobart". The Regional Flyer. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  86. ^ Liu, Jim. "Qantas adds Sydney – Merimbula service from late-Dec 2020". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  87. ^ "REGIONAL VICTORIA THE WINNER AS QANTASLINK LAUNCHES MORE FLIGHTS". Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  88. ^ "Qantas spreads its wings to Orange". Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  89. ^ "Flying Kangaroo Sets Sights On The Snowfields For The Ski Season". Qantas News Room. Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  90. ^ "Media Release : REX TO FLY BRISBANE-SYDNEY". Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  91. ^ "REX Airlines to fly to Snowy Mountains in 2016 ski season". 19 November 2015. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  92. ^ Rex promises 'Qantas service, Jetstar prices' on Sydney-Melbourne flights Sydney Morning Herald 2 December 2020
  93. ^ "Samoa Airways confirms plan to launch services from 14-Nov-2017". CAPA. 25 August 2017. Archived from the original on 25 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  94. ^ "SriLankan Airlines August 2020 operations as of 31JUL20". Routesonline. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  95. ^ "Thai AirAsia X Eyes Airbus A330 Flights To Australia". Simple Flying. 31 August 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  96. ^ "Tianjin Airlines resumes Zhengzhou – Sydney service in NW19".
  97. ^ "United's Sydney-Houston flight will take off in October". Executive Traveller. 15 September 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  98. ^ Liu, Jim. "United NS20 Long-Haul operation changes as of 29May20". Airlineroute. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  99. ^ "Virgin Australia launches flights to Samoa | Australian Aviation". Archived from the original on 31 October 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  100. ^ "Virgin Australia further expands international network; Executive Traveller". Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  101. ^ Lowe, Steve. "New Trans-Tasman Air Freight Service". 3rd Level NZ. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  102. ^ "FedEx Express Launches Sydney-Singapore Flight To Support Australian Business Growth". FedEx. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  103. ^ a b "FREIGHT ARRIVALS". Changi Airport. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  104. ^ "Second Sydney Airport – A Chronology". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  105. ^ "No airport cap or curfew change: Albanese". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  106. ^ Truss, Warren; Tony Abott. "Western Sydney Airport to Deliver Jobs and Infrastructure". Media Release. Ministry for Inreastructure and Regional Development. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  107. ^ O'Sullivan, Matt (16 April 2014). "Sydney Airport looks west". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  108. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (16 April 2014). "Federal government plans for airport rail line but will not build it". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  109. ^ Blumer, Clare (4 May 2017). "Badgerys Creek airport to be built by Federal Government as Sydney Airport declines first option". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  110. ^ a b "Domestic aviation activity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  111. ^ a b "International Airline Activity" (PDF). June 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  112. ^ "Sydney Airport Link". Airport Link Company. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  113. ^ "Sydney Airport". RailCorp. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  114. ^ Route 350 timetable Transport for NSW
  115. ^ Route 420 timetable Transport for NSW
  116. ^ "Sydney International Airport By Foot - A Walk In The Park". Points Brotherhood. 7 September 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  117. ^ "Sydney Domestic Airport By Foot... A Step-By-Step Guide". Points Brotherhood. 24 August 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  118. ^ "A step forward for Sydney Gateway". Transport for NSW. 14 July 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  119. ^ "Timeline blowout for Sydney's multibillion-dollar Gateway road project". Sydney Morning Herald. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  120. ^ "Sydney Airport Carparks". Sydney Airport Website. Sydney Airport Corporation Limited. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 26 February 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  121. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September 1920, p.13
  122. ^ The Herald (Melbourne), 15 September 1920, p.10
  123. ^ Pearcy, Arthur (1996). Lend lease aircraft in World War II (1. publ. ed.). United States: Motorbooks International Publishers & Wholesalers. p. 105. ISBN 9780760302590.
  124. ^ Livingstone, Bob (1998). Under the Southern Cross: the B-24 Liberator in the South Pacific (Limited ed.). Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company. p. 122. ISBN 9781563114328.
  125. ^ "Crash of a C-87 Liberator Express 1 mile west of Mascot Airfield on 19 July 1945". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  126. ^ Hobbins, Peter, "Tragedy at Mascot; Sydney's forgotten aviation disaster," History (Magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society), September 2019, No.141, pp.18-21
  127. ^ Job, Macarthur (1992). Air Crash, Volume 2. Weston Creek, ACT: Aerospace Publications. p. 153. ISBN 1-875671-01-3.
  128. ^ "Accident description: VH-TVC, 30 November 1961". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  129. ^ "N892PA Boeing 707-321B". Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  130. ^ Air Safety Investigation Branch (1970). Accident Investigation Report – Boeing 707-321B Aircraft N892PA at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport, on 1st December 1969 (PDF). Department of Civil Aviation, Australia. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  131. ^ "The heartbreaking story behind photo of boy falling from plane above Sydney". Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  132. ^ Air Safety Investigation Branch (August 1971). "Canadian Pacific Airlines DC8-63 aircraft CF-CPQ and Trans-Australia Airlines Boeing 727 aircraft VH-TJA at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport New South Wales on 29 January, 1971" (PDF). Accident Investigation Report. Department of Civil Aviation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  133. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747SP-21 N530PA Sydney-Kingsford Smith Airport, NSW (SYD)".
  134. ^ "13 die in Sydney crash," Sydney Morning Herald, 22 February 1980, p.1: Air Safety Investigation Branch, Advance Airlines of Australia Beech Super King Air 200 VH-AAV Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, New South Wales 21 February 1980, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1981
  135. ^ "Accident description:VH-EDC 24 April 1994". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
  136. ^ Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) (5 March 1996). Investigation Report, No. 9401043, Douglas Aircraft Co Inc DC3C-S1C3G, VH-EDC, Botany Bay, NSW, 24 April 1994. Department of Transport (Australia). ISBN 0-642-24566-5. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  137. ^ Pavlich, Chris (16 January 2009). "My own brush with death". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  138. ^ "Aircraft accident Boeing 747-312 VH-INH Sydney-Kingsford Smith Airport, NS (SYD)". Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2018.