Sydney Airport now earns $8,395 on every car parking space

By David Flynn, March 6 2017
Sydney Airport now earns $8,395 on every car parking space

Sydney Airport has once again claimed the crown for Australia's largest car parking profiteer, according to the latest report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC's annual report on our four major airports found that Sydney Airport outstripped Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with a 73.1% profit margin on car parking spots – in other words, the airport pocketed 73.1 cents out of every dollar of revenue earned from parking.

Total car parking revenue shot up to $134 million, just a measly million shy of Melbourne's $135 million  revenue bankrolled by bitumen.

And with Sydney recording a 3.2% revenue increase against Melbourne's 1.2% revenue drop, Sydney is on track to roar into first place next year.

Another take-out from the ACCC's slice-and-dice of the numbers: Sydney Airport earns an average of $8,395 per parking space, also a lift of 6.9% over the previous year.

By comparison, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth all saw a drop in per-space revenue (with Brisbane now at $6,042, Melbourne at $5,226 and Perth at $2,792).

Despite the rise in revenue and profits, ACCC chairman Rod Sims says there is clear evidence that travellers are increasingly taking advantage of discounts for online bookings, especially on long-term parking.

"In comparison, those who do not pre-book must pay drive-up prices which can be double that of online prices," Sims said.

Sydney Airport reported that almost 40 per cent of its carpark revenue came from those cut-rate online bookings.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

It is truly disgusting. Now talk to me about "free market" and advantage of having unregulated everything.

If you really think that we are actually IN an unregulated free market then frankly I question your knowledge of economics. In addition, profit =/= exploitation.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 313

Seems like the privatising of airports hasn't benefitted the public all that much.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

And you really expect that it will?

The existence of a profit =/= a reduction in public benefit. In addition, there's a difference between mere privatization and the benefits one would expect from actually having a functioning competitive market. Sydney has one major airport; this is not a competitive market because it is basically a monopoly.

And how do you know it hasn't benefitted the public? Has it lowered the burden faced by taxpayers? Has it increased the amount of air services that can be received? The cost-benefit analysis may very well work out in favor of privatization. You also need to take into account the demand for car spaces as well as the opportunity cost of the land, etc.

In addition, these obscene profit margins provide money which gets reinvested into the airport such as through... gasp... building more car parking spaces.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

I am sorry, my friend, but as for me your speech about "hidden public benefits by reducing taxes" or "reinvesting money in airport infrastructure with aim for public benefits" is either CEO speech to justify price increase or simple nonsense.

Having a monopoly should not be a licence to print money. A 15% return would seem a sensible number compared to other businesses. The argument that the money is used to improve the other services in the airport needs to be demonstrated as does the returns to shareholders.

Your article should show the full picture of how Sydney Airport is raising and spending funds and how much is being paid to shareholders. I assume the ACCC looked at the full picture rather than the sensation of price gouging short term parking when dropping off friends and relatives because they can.

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