Business travellers may feel that Sydney Airport is packed with too many flights, leading to knock-on delays for and departures and arrivals.
Sydney Airport owner MAp Airports would beg to differ, saying that Australia’s busiest airport “has significant available capacity to accommodate future growth”.
How much growth? According to numbers released at today’s MAp Annual General Meeting in Sydney, the airport’s ominous-sounding ‘master plan’ forecasts a massive 78.9 million passengers in 2029.
MAp reports that in 2010, usage of available landing and takeoff slots was only 60% of maximum capacity – even given the current cap of 80 slots per hour (which means one flight arrival or departure every 45 seconds across both the domestic and international airports) and the 11pm-6am curfew.
The airport expects that an increase in off-peak travel “will enable peak spreading” to help ease capacity problems.
MAp also revealed that China is now the airport’s third-largest inbound market, partly due to the increase in Chinese airlines operating from Sydney Airport.
The most recent of these was Hainan Airlines, which in January became the fifth Chinese airline – alongside Air China, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern and China Southern – to provide Sydney’s business travellers with direct flights into China.