Australia’s air cargo gateway nears capacity

Sydney Airport, the air freight gateway to Australia, is tipped to record strong freight volume growth next year. According to the airport's 2009 draft Master Plan, existing international and domestic airfreight handling facilities at the Sydney Airport are currently operating near capacity.

Kingsford Smith International Airport Qantas Sydney Airport Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL)

Sydney Airport (also known as Kingsford Smith International Airport) is both the major passenger airport serving Sydney, the main hub for Qantas and Australia’s keycargo gateway.

The airport – managed by Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) – also has the honour of being one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world and the busiest airport in Australia, handling 31.9 million passengers and 290,346 aircraft movements in 2007. It was the 28th busiest airport in the world in 2003, but has not been in the top 30 since then.

Cargo movements have also been steadily rising over the years and based on average airport-wide productivity of 10 tonnes per square metre per annum, the capacity of the existing on-airport facilities is around 450,000 to 500,000 tonnes per annum for international freight and 80,000 tonnes per annum for domestic freight.

“In order to meet the capacity shortfall, the airport’s plan is to build an aviation logistics precinct in the northern part of the airport to provide new or expanded freight facilities as well as bypass and staging facilities to enable efficienttransfer of freight between the airfield and off -airport operations,” according tothe airport’s Master Plan report.

This northern area development was triggered off by a number of airfreight handling operators locating terminals off-airport in this area to meet the projected increase in freight volumes.