The Wild West: How a 50% Increase in Aviation Traffic Will Affect Your Air Freight in Sydney

Our Sydney skies are about to get a lot more traffic. After a 20+ year conversation, the government has finally agreed upon a second Sydney airport that will be located at Badgerys creek. The decision was made in dual-knowledge that Sydney aviation traffic is forecast to increase by 50% in the next 20 years and expansions will be made into the Western Sydney Employment Area (WSEA).

But what will this mean to you as an importer/exporter and how will this affect your air freight Sydney deliveries? Read on to learn more about the future of Australia’s largest air freight destination.

Kingsford-Smith Overload

Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport is projected to overload in the near future through sheer traffic as Australia’s most popular airport. The Sydney airport is a major employment and economic stimulator for the city, accounting for $27.6 billion of Australia’s GDP, nearly 300,000 jobs and over 50% of national air freight arrivals. Its location only 8km away from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) makes air freight deliveries to Kingsford Smith easily accessible for pick-up and delivery.Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport has by far the most traffic and largest air freight throughout Australia, but with estimations of economic activity doubling by 2033 there are fears it is heading for over-capacity. Without action, Sydney and Australia overall could lose prospective demand opportunities which, over the next 50 years, the government estimates will total more than $34 billion.

Customs building in Sydney, Australia
Badgerys Creek will become another gateway for air freight Sydney

The government has chosen the location of Badgerys Creek because they expect the West to grow. Population projections for the western Sydney area will increase by 50% (2 million to 3 million) and is already counted as Australia’s third largest economy and fourth largest city. The location was procured by the Government almost 20 years ago but the decision to build has only been finalised now after delays from expansions to the Kingsford-Smith airport and reviewing alternative locations.Badgerys Creek is located 56km from the CBD which should take just under an hour with current transport infrastructure. That’s a vast time difference compared to the 15 minutes travel from Sydney’s original air freight destination. Recognising the prosperity and future growth of the area, the government will also be providing a major western Sydney infrastructure package to coincide with the new airport. Road and rail development will be designed to complement the airport, better service the growing population and effectively connect the West with the rest of Sydney.

What this means for your air freight


  • Encourage companies to expand into the West by creating offices and warehouses, increase competitiveness, and stimulating the Western Sydney economy
  • Attract new investments of national and foreign businesses by providing opportunities like increased flights and Sydney gateways
  • Retain existing companies and accommodate for future business
  • Promote aviation trade and air freight destined through increased passenger flights, air cargo flights and air freight services
  • Improve Western Sydney transport and city infrastructure
  • Create jobs


  • Transporting costs from the airport could be astronomical, but this depends on your warehouse location. If your storage centre is located near the city or further you could be facing serious trucking charges as most rates are negotiated on postcode or region. But with many Sydney-based companies that import goods now having warehouses around the Parramatta/Western Sydney region, the Badgerys Creek airport could be a potential money saver
  • A long time to wait. Although the decision has been made, construction won’t be finished for at least another decade. The Australian government estimates the first commercial flight will not take off until the mid 2020’s so as to allow enough time for planning and infrastructure development
  • It is not certain whether either airport will favour freight flights over passenger flights once both are established
Opportunities for transporting your air freight to Sydney and Australia

Easier access to Australia means more opportunities and more business. If Sydney were to gain another daily airbus service from China to Sydney, over a year it would provide over $300 million to the Australian economy and create 4,000 NSW jobs alone. With the China Southern air line confirming last week (16th May, 2014) it has scheduled an A380 airbus service during this year’s peak summer season, it’s possible to say foreign prospects and air freight that is destined for Sydney will increase. Depending on whether larger cargo aircrafts are encouraged to this airport or not will also directly affect your air freight requirements.

We will always keep you updated on the latest news about airports and air freight in Sydney and Australia. If you enjoyed this article and would like to stay updated about the freight and logistics industry, sign up for the free BCR newsletter.

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