Supporting current and future general aviation and industry needs
With more than $450 million invested in our precincts over the past decade and a further $200 million in the forward investment pipeline, we are committed to the continued sustainable growth and evolution of the general aviation and logistics sectors.
General aviation underpins the delivery of essential emergency, medical and environmental services and critical activities, such as flight training, private charters and aircraft maintenance.
Metro general aviation airports, such as Bankstown Airport and Camden Airport, will also be the launchpad of emerging aviation technologies and related sustainability initiatives – driving the transition to net zero.
Our freight and logistics estates are similarly critical to meeting growing population, business and employment needs in Greater Sydney and beyond.
We proudly advocate on behalf of our customers and the general aviation and logistics sectors to ensure a strong and sustainable future for our precincts and the nation.
General aviation airports are strongly positioned to be the launching pad for emerging aviation technologies and the transition to net zero.
Metro general aviation airports, in particular, are well placed to support the development and adoption of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) – including electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft and drones – which will enhance the efficiency, scope and sustainability of essential services such as patient transfers, search-and-rescue missions and flight training, while also delivering faster freight deliveries and city commutes and enhanced regional connectivity.
We endorse the statement in the Commonwealth Government’s Aviation Green Paper, released in September 2023, that Australia is positioning itself to become a leader in the uptake and development of such emerging technologies.
Government support will be critical to delivering that opportunity and the broader evolution of the aviation sector towards net zero.
Our submission to the Green Paper calls for:
- The Commonwealth Government to establish an Aviation Infrastructure Fund for metro general aviation airports, to facilitate, develop and support emerging aviation technologies, AAM and net zero operations
- The Commonwealth Government to establish an Aviation Innovation Fund targeted towards the adoption of emerging aviation technologies by aviation operators and the evolution of Australian aviation
- A whole-of-airspace review of key capital city markets to facilitate the forecast tripling of aircraft movements by 2040-50, driven by the uptake of AAM aircraft
- Streamlining development processes and approvals for innovation projects that support emerging aviation technologies and AAM
Airspace changes in Greater Sydney due to the commencement of Western Sydney International Airport (WSI) in 2026 will have significant impacts on general aviation.
The WSI Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), released in October 2023, confirms:
- The loss of a large volume of airspace currently used for dedicated flight training at Bankstown Airport and changes to regulatory procedures and requirements for flight paths to and from Bankstown Airport and Camden Airport
- Inherent risks and hazards for all aircraft associated with the introduction of additional aircraft movements in the Greater Sydney Basin, including increased risk of aircraft crashes and wildlife strike
- Community impacts due to increases in aircraft noise exposure, aircraft emissions, and potential loss of visual amenity and biodiversity.
Impacts on flight training schools
Airspace changes will impose substantial economic and business costs on flight training schools, due to increased flying times, distances and schedules, along with greater fuel and maintenance costs. Some flight schools may be forced to contract or close their operations.
Amid a global pilot shortage and growing aviation demand, this should concern the Government greatly. We are working alongside and for our customers to safeguard their operations, including calling for:
- A whole-of-airspace review of Greater Sydney to ensure safe and equitable access for all aircraft and to minimise safety risks and hazards
- Government support for ongoing flight training operations at Bankstown Airport and Camden Airport, potentially including funding for new or upgraded facilities and infrastructure
- Government support to future proof flight training operations at Bankstown Airport and Camden Airport, potentially including funding for flight schools to upgrade to electric-hydrogen aircraft and to upskill current and future pilots in emerging aviation technologies
Submissions to the WSI Draft EIS are due by 31 January 2024. We encourage all concerned aviation operators and members of the community to take this opportunity to provide feedback.