NSW Announces Plans to Turn Western Sydney Airport into an 'Aerotropolis'


NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced an Aerotropolis 2026 Summit in Sydney next year to build the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek into an integrated “world-class precinct”.

“We want Western Sydney Airport to be about much more than just building an airport – we want it to be a fully integrated economic precinct that will deliver jobs and opportunities for the people of Western Sydney and across NSW” Berejiklian said.

The Property Council said the announcement that there will be an Aerotropolis 2026 Summit next year was good news for getting the best out of the investment in and around the new airport.

“The airport and aerotropolis offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest heavily in our outer west,” Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said“With our population in our west and south west expected to grow by 734,000 by 2036, investment that brings jobs is critical.

“To encourage this growth, an economic zone around the airport to incentivise investment should be considered as a way of encouraging investment in the short to medium term. Cities around the world have used similar approaches to encourage new investment in developing areas.

What is an Aerotropolis?

According to the Sydney Business Chamber, an aerotropolis is a metropolitan sub-region whose infrastructure, land-use, and economy are centred around an airport. It consists of the airport’s typical elements as well as outlying corridors and clusters of aviation-oriented businesses and residential developments that feed off each other and their accessibility to the airport.

The chief value proposition of the aerotropolis is that it offers businesses rapid connectivity to their suppliers, customers, and enterprise partners nationally and worldwide, increasing both firm and regional efficiency.

By providing nationally and globally oriented, time-sensitive firms with rapid long-distance accessibility, the aerotropolis helps them cut costs, increase productivity, and expand market reach, thereby becoming more competitive and participating more effectively in the international division of labour.

“The Western Sydney Airport will be a flagship for NSW and Australia  – this is the nation’s next major airport and one that we hope will become a global destination," Berejiklian said.

“We believe the Western Sydney Airport offers a real strategic opportunity to global companies and as Premier I am committed to attracting the world’s best to base themselves in Western Sydney."

Several countries have also set their sights on creating their own aerotropolis, including South Korea and the Incheon International Airport.

At its core is air city, a set of airport commercial complexes being developed with all the features of a modern metropolitan centre: retail areas, office buildings, hotels, entertainment, and leisure facilities, a conference and exhibition centre, as well as a mixed-use nearby new town.


Another example is the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), which had 63.5 million passengers and 697,000 tons of cargo in 2014.

Approximately 65% of the airport’s revenues come from commercial activities, including significant commercial real estate development on its property.

Extensive government investment in DFW’s connecting highway and passenger rail infrastructure has helped spawn a DFW Aerotropolis, which has helped the airport’s economic reach and impact extend many kilometres.

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