Building Australia’s best terminal
By Simon Hickey
27 October 2022
Western Sydney International Airport’s Chief Executive, Simon Hickey, updates International Airport Review’s readers on the airport’s state-of-the-art terminal building construction.
Work on Western Sydney International Airport’s world-class terminal is progressing ahead of welcoming its first passengers in late 2026. With a seamless design, inspired by the region’s natural beauty, flying from Sydney’s newest gateway will be a unique and exciting experience for customers.
Airport construction taking off
Construction on what will become Sydney’s biggest airport is on track with all major contracts now awarded. Multiplex is building the state-of-the-art terminal and began work at the 1,780 hectare Western Sydney International Airport site at the end of 2021.
The foundations have already been laid for what will become Australia’s best airport terminal.
More than a thousand piles have been completed for the terminal and more than half of the basement slab has now been poured. We’ll need around 11,000 cubic metres of concrete for the terminal basement slab, which is more than four Olympic swimming pools.
Sustainable and recycled materials are being used throughout the terminal, including the structure, finishes and furniture.
The 10km aviation fuel line is also under construction and when complete, will see fuel pumped from the on-site fuel farm across the airport site. Around 2.5km of pipe has already been welded to date.
Over the next few months, we’ll begin to see the terminal take shape as the team commence pouring the slab for our departures and arrivals levels, and start work on the airport’s feature columns, which are a hallmark design of the terminal entrance.
The terminal is on track to be delivered by the end of 2025, ready for customer and safety testing before the airport opens in late 2026.
Western Sydney International Airport home to Australia’s best terminal
The WSIA terminal will set a new standard for what Australians can expect when they fly.
Flying from Western Sydney International will be fast and convenient with intuitive wayfinding around the terminal that will be easy to navigate.
For airlines, our design is all about operational efficiency and reliability, providing great customer service to ensure passengers have a stress-free airport experience.
Importantly, domestic and international gates will be located under the one structure and designed to expand with capacity as the airport’s second runway comes online in the 2050s.
More than 1,800 climate responsive panels will be installed in the terminal to create ample shading and high-performance glass will ensure less energy is needed to keep the terminal at a comfortable temperature all year round.
This will be Australia’s best airport terminal, unlike anything seen before in this country. From day one of operating WSIA will have the third largest catchment of any Australian airport and capacity for 10 million passengers a year.
DXC Technology has been contracted to help deliver the technology framework for the terminal, which will allow more than 60 technology systems to talk to each other to provide a fast, seamless journey for customers.
WSIA is also well positioned to capitalise on its unique greenfield opportunity by building an airport from the ground up with consideration for technologies that are emerging or yet to be imagined.
The terminal will be digitally enabled, transforming the customer experience, and avoiding many of the frustrations encountered at other airports. We’re already building this into the design as we lay the foundations for our state‑of‑the-art terminal.
The people’s airport
WSIA recently launched the Western Sydney International Customer Panel where locals and aviation lovers alike can exclusively contribute opinions on different elements of the airport experience which will contribute to the overall design.
The panel is open for anyone in Australia to join to help WSIA identify and address the pain points customers typically experience at older airports, whether they are flying for business or leisure.
Thousands of Australians have now signed up to the WSI Panel and were recently invited to an exclusive viewing of the terminal design plans, which were projected on the floor in life‑size scale. Panel members were able to ‘walk‑through’ the detailed terminal layout and provide feedback on its design and functionality and their experience.
The terminal is being designed with the customer at its heart – from passengers, airlines, airport staff and air cargo operators.
To join the Western Sydney International Panel, visit https://bit.ly/3bwU0O7
Simon Hickey is a Senior Executive of more than 30 years across aviation, construction and retail, Hickey leads the team developing the business and infrastructure for Sydney’s new airport, Western Sydney International. With a focus on transformational customer experience and big data, Hickey approaches the once-in-a-generation challenge of building a greenfield airport determined to set a new benchmark for passengers, airlines and air cargo operators, and inspired by the project’s purpose as the catalyst for socioeconomic uplift for the people of Western Sydney.