Liverpool: the gateway to Sydney’s aerotropolis

There are great hopes for what the new Western Sydney Airport (WSA) will achieve for Western Sydney – it is often referred to as a ‘once-in- a-generation opportunity’ to transform the region.

Rather than simply being a place that planes land, WSA could be the centrepiece of a holistic development that maximises the economic and social benefits the airport can provide, turning the broader region around the Western Sydney Airport into an ‘aerotropolis’.

The aerotropolis has the potential to become a hub of activity through the concentration of key industries, residences, job opportunities and transportation – a precinct which promotes connectivity between people, industries and place.

At the heart of this aerotropolis is Liverpool city.

Liverpool City Council commissioned PwC write to a report looking at the opportunities, vision and viability of Australia’s first planned aerotropolis.

Download the condensed report here

Download the full report commissioned by Liverpool City Council here

A second airport for Sydney

WSA will be one of Australia’s most significant pieces of infrastructure. More than just meeting Sydney’s growing passenger demand, WSA will improve accessibility of aviation services to Sydney’s population, and the connectivity of Australian industry to global markets.

The aerotropolis imagined

Vision and viability for the aerotropolis

Many airports exist on the periphery of cities, reflecting traditional approaches to airport planning and development. And whilst airports stimulate economic productivity at a state and national level, there is no guarantee of more localised benefits.

The aim is to maximise the economic benefits for Western Sydney, and the local areas around the airport in particular, by fostering an ‘aerotropolis’.

The ‘inner aerotropolis’

We envisage the ‘inner aerotropolis’ forming within the area approximately 10kms north, east and south from the airport site. Within this area, the first 5kms around the airport ought to be reserved for industrial use, which also acts as a physical buffer between the airport and residential areas, helping to protect its 24-hour operations.

The ‘greater aerotropolis’

Further out from the airport, the greater aerotropolis offers the economic foundation for the aerotropolis by providing:

  • a growing population
  • strong economic performance

Key sectoral opportunities

Key sectoral opportunities for the aerotropolis are those that are most likely to benefit from close proximity to a 24-hour airport, as well as those sectors whose operations aren’t as closely linked to aviation but are well-positioned to build on existing or proposed investments in the region and will also benefit from more timely receipt of airfreighted equipment and suppliers.

These are sectors that, regardless of WSA, are poised for growth in NSW:

  • Logistics, distribution and freight forwarders
  • Advanced food manufacturing and exportation
  • Medical technologies
  • Defence and aerospace
  • Tourism


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Contact us

Jeremy Thorpe

Chief Economist & Partner, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (2) 8266 4611

Joseph Carrozzi

Cities Agenda Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 1144

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