NSW air network

Air transport is generally used for moving high value and time-sensitive goods.

Air transport is generally used for moving high value and time-sensitive goods and it is becoming more important due to the increasing growth in online shopping.

The volume of freight transported by air is small when compared to road, including rail and sea, but it makes a significant contribution to the NSW economy because of its high value, medical supplies and electronic equipment. The value of goods moved by air freight through Sydney Airport is almost the same value as the entire agriculture production of Australia.

Find out more about what moves in and out of NSW by air. (PDF, 406.97 KB)

Planning for the future

Sydney Airport handles half of Australia’s international air freight and about one-third of the country’s domestic air freight.

Air freight is moved in two ways: either using specialist freight aircraft or within the belly-holds of passenger aircraft. Some 80 per cent of all air freight handled at Sydney Airport is carried in the holds of passenger aircraft. Small freighter aircraft generally aren’t subject to the curfew, e.g 146 planes can operate all night and curfew generally doesn’t impact on turboprop aircraft.

In 2015/16 over 460,000 tonnes of international freight passed through Sydney Airport.  The Sydney Airport Master Plan 2033 forecasts the volume of freight moved through the airport will grow to more than 1 million tonnes a year by 2033.

There is limited capacity at Sydney Airport, and take-off and landing restrictions throughout the night do not support the efficient use of off-peak hours for freight movement.

The Australian Government is progressing the development of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek to support aviation growth in NSW.

The Badgerys Creek site is away from major population centres and the airport will operate without a curfew. The Stage 1 development will cater for predicted demand of up to 10 million annual passengers as well as freight traffic following opening in 2026.

The new airport, and the adjoining employment lands in Western Sydney, will create new opportunities for growth for a diverse range of new businesses and the people who live and work in the region.

The Australian and NSW Governments are funding a 10-year, $3.6 billion road investment program to deliver new and upgraded roads to support integrated transport in the region and capitalise on the economic benefits from developing the Western Sydney Airport.

Find out more about the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan from Roads and Maritime Services.

We are also working to preserve a corridor for a fuel pipeline to the Western Sydney Airport. Find out more about the Western Sydney fuel pipeline project.