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Opportunities in the development of WSA. Opportunities in the development of WSA. Featured
15 December 2017 Posted by 


City-shaping opportunity for GWS
IT’S one of the most significant city-shaping opportunities for Sydney in recent memory, and the question of how to leverage the new Western Sydney Airport (WSA) is one PwC is helping to tackle.
WSA, which will be opened in 2026, is a game changer for the region. It’s a once in a generation opportunity and if we get it right, it will be transformative and help shape a new city.
Currently, Western Sydney has a large jobs deficit that sees more than 300,000 people leave the region each day, and travel more than one and a half hours to get to and from work.
A curfew free, international airport for Western Sydney will be a major generator of employment and economic activity. In terms of jobs growth alone, we’ll see 11,000 jobs created through construction of the airport, and in the longer term, nearly 120,000 new jobs – all in close proximity to where people live, which will help address Sydney’s current congestion issues. 
Rather than simply being a place that planes land, WSA can be the centrepiece of a holistic development that maximises the economic and social benefits the airport can provide, turning the broader region into an ‘aerotropolis’.
It 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 present, 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.
By fostering an ‘aerotropolis’, we can maximise the economic benefits for Western Sydney, and the local areas around the airport in particular.
Earlier this month, PwC co-sponsored and launched a report for Liverpool City Council at the Creating Australia’s Best Airport City conference. 
PwC’s report, Liverpool: The gateway to Sydney’s Aerotropolis, explores what is required to unlock the economic potential of WSA and drive the development of an aerotropolis around the airport.
The report found WSA will be one of Australia’s most significant pieces of infrastructure, it will be about more than just meeting Sydney’s growing passenger demand. 
It will improve accessibility of aviation services to Sydney’s population, and the connectivity of Australian industry to global markets.
One of WSA’s most significant advantages is that it will be curfew-free. The possibility for 24-hour connectivity to domestic and international markets opens up the opportunity to attract a number of sectors to locate around WSA.
The most promising sectors identified in the report are not only those that will be enhanced by proximity to WSA but are those already poised for growth.
They include:
Logistics, distribution and freight forwarders.
Advanced food manufacturing and exportation.
Medical technologies.
Defence and aerospace.
The successful development of a Badgerys Creek aerotropolis depends first and foremost on the airport itself. Many ‘supplementary’ airports thrive on capturing overflow demand from a city’s main airport as populations grow. 
London, for example, has five airports servicing different market segments. Others, such as Mirabel Airport in Montreal, Canada and the Ciudad Real Airport in Madrid, Spain have failed and been abandoned.
Provided the right land use strategies are put in place, the enhanced connectivity and efficiency offered by a 24-hour airport also opens the opportunity to attract time-sensitive, aviation-enabled industries to locate near the airport.
Employment opportunities arising from the airport and the businesses establishing around it should attract new residents who want to live near work. 
Growing population density will in turn open up other opportunities for businesses that need to locate where people live.
Liverpool has the opportunity to position itself as the key edge city or the ‘CBD’ of the aerotropolis, where airport-related businesses set up their Western Sydney (or even Sydney) offices/headquarters and where incoming tourists and business people come to stay. 
That WSA Co has already set up in Liverpool City should provide the confidence for other businesses to follow.
Jeremy Thorpe is Chief Economist at PwC.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.