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Taking Flight: The economic and social contribution of Australia’s airports

Australian Airports Association

Australia’s airports are a vital part of our economic and social fabric. In 2023, Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by the Australian Airports Association (AAA) to explore the contribution of Australia’s airports to a thriving economy, and connected, secure and resilient communities. Read our report to learn about the significant impacts of this vital sector.

Image credit: Launceston Airport

Australia’s airports are our gateway to the world - facilitating safe and efficient travel for millions of Australians each year and allowing people from around the world to experience our world-class tourism offering. Airports are major employment hubs, and attract a range of businesses to their precincts, while facilitating our country’s most valuable exports. 

Drawing on a bespoke survey of airports developed by Deloitte Access Economics and distributed by the AAA, a range of publicly available data sources and our in-house suite of proprietary economic models, the study found that, in 2022, Australia’s airports contributed $105 billion to Australia’s GDP, and supported more than 690,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Case studies in the report demonstrate the vital role airports play in connecting and servicing communities around Australia. Airports support the next generation of pilots and aviation industry professionals, facilitating more than 330,000 training hours in 2022, and serve as key hubs for medical and firefighting emergency services, particularly in regional areas.

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought significant challenges for the airport sector, it also highlighted their crucial importance. Airports facilitated the complex logistics of vaccination rollouts and medical equipment deliveries, and served as hubs for administration and coordination of Australia’s response to the pandemic. The recovery from the pandemic is well underway, but will take time with international tourism not expected to recover fully until 2025.

Image Credit: Sydney Airport

Connecting Australia: The economic and social contribution of Australia’s airports 2018

The prior iteration of the analysis, Connecting Australia: The economic and social contribution of Australia’s airports, was produced by Deloitte Access Economics in 2018. The link to the earlier report is here.

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Deloitte Access Economics offers a full suite of economic advisory services including economic forecasting, modelling, analysis and advisory services to help our clients plan for the future, understand the implications of major decisions, and navigate the complexities of economic policy. We regularly provide economic analysis to support large scale transport projects, strategies and policy across air, road, rail, sea and pipelines.

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