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Looking Skywards for an Aerotropolis in Greater Western Sydney

Part 1: Introduction to the Aerotropolis


Read the full PDF article here

An aerotropolis at Badgerys Creek has been recently introduced by the Greater Sydney Commission as the centerpiece of Western Sydney’s future growth. An aerotropolis describes a city that is built around an airport, that integrates time-sensitive suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and jobs to distant customers, clients and marketplaces. 

To realise the Greater Sydney Commission’s vision for an aerotropolis in Western City, the planning for how such a city would form and what it would look like over the coming decades needs to commence. This aims to ensure that a productive, liveable and sustainable urban form will ultimately emerge for the future enjoyment of Greater Sydney.

The first edition of the aerotropolis series begins to unpack how this may unfold in a Western Sydney context, identifying some of the key barriers which exist between the identification of an aerotropolis in the District Plans in 2016, and the ultimate success profile of this development model throughout the aerotropolis life cycle. The key findings of the first edition include:

  • Airport precincts are importantly determined by time-cost, rather than distance as a measure of demand. Areas which are highly accessible from the airport by way of road and rail transport will benefit most, and develop to the highest order of uses feasible.
  • Airport linked uses form a vital part of an aerotropolis and can be classified as ‘airport oriented activities’, which are located strategically near the airport due to the opportunities which the airport provides.
  • In a global context, Sydney is located in a region of commercial disadvantage relative to more centrally located aerotropolis precincts. However, Western Sydney is the optimal location for such a precinct within an Australian context, benefitting from a range of factors which do not extend to established inner city airports.
  • In order to maximise the Western Sydney Airport’s success, land use is the optimal tool available to create a destination from the land surrounding the airport. To accompany this, a clear program of infrastructure delivery surrounding the Western City, as well as a responsive and flexible planning system will both be paramount.
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The lifecycle of an aerotropolis


JBA’s Introduction to Aerotropolis provides an in-depth assessment of the opportunity to deliver an aerotropolis in Western Sydney. For further information, please contact JBA’s Aviation Development Specialists, Tim Smith and Gordon Kirkby on 02 9956 6962.

About the author


Tim Smith

Urban Planner

Tim is a talented Urban Planner who has recently completed his Bachelor of Planning, receiving Honours Class 1 at the University of New South Wales

Gordon Kirkby

Gordon Kirkby


Gordon has over 24 years’ experience in a broad range of urban and regional planning projects including residential, retail, commercial, coastal, a