Sustainable design and development

Sydney Airport is one of Australia’s most important pieces of infrastructure. It is an essential piece of the transportation network connecting Sydney to over 100 regional, national and international destinations.

Sydney Airport, alongside other leased Federal airports in Australia, is subject to a planning framework in the Airports Act 1996. Under this planning framework, airports prepare a Master Plan incorporating an Airport Environment Strategy (AES) which sets a 20-year strategic vision for the airport site. This Master Plan is renewed every five years. Master plans include future land uses, noise and environmental impacts.

Sydney Airport’s current Master Plan runs through to 2039. Master Plan 2039 acknowledges that continued growth of Sydney Airport is crucial to achieving local, state and national employment, tourism and development objectives. It also sets out our approach to incorporate sustainability into the planning and design for future Sydney Airport expansion.

Within Master Plan 2039, the Airport Development Plan outlines options to improve to the airfield, aviation facilities, terminals and infrastructures to support the forecast increase in passenger numbers and aircraft movements to 2039. It also outlines the commercial property opportunities that exist in the landside areas of the airport that are complementary to aviation operations and provide economic growth for the local economy. Planned improvements to the ground transport network to accommodate increased passenger, visitor, staff and freight traffic requirements to 2039 are also included. See Section 7.1 of Master Plan 2039 for more information.

Sydney Airport’s Sustainable Design Guidelines embed sustainability considerations into the ideation, concept, design development, detailed design, delivery and implementation of all building projects at Sydney Airport by setting minimum requirements in key areas of sustainability.

The requirements within these guidelines are informed by Sydney Airport’s sustainability policy, strategy and commitments and the master planning process. They also support the delivery of Sydney Airport’s strategy, which is underpinned by an aligned culture focused on sustainability.

A rigorous development assessment process has been established to enable Sydney Airport to address its obligations under the Airports (Building Control) Regulations Act 1996. If a proposed development has the potential to impact the environment, an environmental assessment must be undertaken.

To read about our performance in this area see our Sustainability Report.

See the ‘Construction and development on the airport’ page in the Environment section of our website for more detail on our management approach to development on airport lands.