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Aviation Assignment: Sustainable Development of Western Sydney International


Task: Aviation Assignment Task: The Construction of Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport is underway and on track to begin operations in 2026. Airports have increasing pressure in becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The Climate Change and the Paris Climate Change Convention have driven the aviation industry to protect the environment. Propose measures that Sydney Western Airport could implement to ensure that it becomes one of the most sustainable and environmental-friendly airports in the world when it opens.

Broad Structure:
A) Introduce the chosen problem; discuss the shortterm and long-term operational and financial implications of the selected problem.

B) Propose potential practical solution(s) to address the chosen problem.

C) Discuss any limitations of your proposed solutions (i.e., economic viability, execution and outcome).

D) Conclude the report with a brief summary of your findings. Where possible, you are encouraged to support your arguments with infographics, images, charts, graphs, maps and/or tables to make your report clearer, more interesting and appealing.


Why Australia needs Western Sydney Airport to be so big

As per the research on aviation assignment, the 2012 Joint Study on aviationin the Sydney area deduced that interest for travel to Sydney locality will dramatically increase from 40 to 87 million in the following 20 years. Demand will twofold again to 165 million by 2060 (Baxter, 2021, pp. 1-14). As nothing is done to improve the rising demand, Sydney could lose the competition for investment and business opportunitiesto the other cities or even out of Australia locations.

Financial data has shown that the monetary expenses of not meeting Sydney's future aviation based demands are considerable large. In case nothing is done, $17.5 billion in New South Wales (NSW) gross state product will be inevitable by 2060, with $34 billion in predestined GDP. In 2060 alone, 57,000 positions will be unavoidable in NSW, and 77,900 positions will be foregone nationally as well. Hence, another air terminal will produce generous financial movement and work openings, especially for Western Sydney. By 2060, an air terminal at Badgerys Creek can possibly contribute around $24 billion to the total national output and 60,000 employment opportunities (, 2018).

Problems with airports when it comes to sustainability and environment friendliness
Aviation business has become one of the top sources of ozone-depleting substance discharges. It causes roughly 2% of worldwide ozone depleting substance discharge with an approximated expected increase in this around 3-4 percent each year. In developed nations, the measure of CO2 emanations brought about by flying is higher, at around 6.3 percent (Bjorn et al., 2018, pp. 314-324).

Climate change and flying in Aviation Assignment

Source – ("Climate change and flying: what share of global CO2 emissions come from aviation?", 2021)

Air terminals are a significant source of different sorts of waste. Water run-offs from air terminal areas are a major polluter since they contain undeniable degrees of synthetics and other poisonous substances from the de - icing and anti - icing of the airplane and runway, fuel spillages, firefighting froth, the oil and synthetic substances from airplane and vehicle upkeep, cleansers utilized in the airplane, cleaning, and so forth (Baxter et. al., 2018, 21).

The airports in themselves also use huge amounts of water, add to the noise pollution, large amount of waste-both hazardous and non-hazardous in nature, air pollution arising from cleaning activities of planes, airports, restaurants etc., airport catering services, airfield operational activities and so on.

Short Term and Long Term Operational and Financial Implications of the challenges
These are leading reasons behind rising concerns of environmental pollution. With rising pressure form global environmental summit meets by different countries to reduce carbon imprints, governments signing climate change agreements, it is imperative that not paying attention to keeping the airport sustainable and environment-friendly,will have operational and fiscal repercussions, both in short term and long term (Zhang & Fujimori, 2020, p. 034019).

Every year, airports are rated globally on various standards based on which they enjoy perks and taxation benefits. Not adhering to the standards will destroy the reputation of the airport and that would be lesser brands utilizing the infrastructure to promote their products and lesser income in both short term and long term.Lesser income will have impact on airport upkeep, general operations, which does not look good at all. Lesser carbon imprints, by agreeing to carbon-offset limits, are also a challenge for airports (Gui& Gou, 2021, p.119988). However, if airports are able to achieve this, it would mean reduced taxes to be paid to the government both in long term and short term. Energy green or energy-negative airports enjoy many more preferences and benefits. Also, greener travel lets airport run more flights which is again good revenue wise.

Proposal of potential solution to the problems
Fortunately, air terminals are starting to apply drives to lessen their carbon impression, or if nothing else, keep their outflows under control. These incorporate energy effectiveness, infrastructural enhancements and protection, ground taskforce changes, and low discharge power plants for running operations. In few cases, hydropower, geothermal, or wind and sun oriented energy sources are utilized for a wide scope of their energy needs. Generally, however, air terminals essentially keep check and are able to accomplish lesser carbon footprints by overseeing fossil fuel consumption and its byproducts which they can't dispense with, totally (Silling, 2019).

During construction itself, Western Sydney Airport achieved the world’s first compactor auto grade control system. This innovation allowed lesser accidents, greater safety, efficient construction and less environmental footprints. The construction also followed lesser water consumption policy and achieved it by using water carts for dust suppression instead of spraying it.

According to the sustainability report issued by WSA, they plan to achieve sustainability and environment friendliness by making efficient usage of resources at hand, creating good revenue stream or investment value of the infrastructure, by upkeep of technological usage, lesser carbon footprints and making it fit even for long term future. They have outlined various plans already on how they plan to achieve their goals, however, few morethings that could provide them operational viability is by building the infrastructure using recycled materials instead of traditional resources to keep their carbon footprint less. This will give them a future edge too in lesser upkeep and lesser carbon foot prints. Fiscal impacts of lesser carbon footprints is definitely by getting to pay lesser taxes or getting other benefits from the aviation ministry (Santa et al., 2020, p. 102160).

For increasing sustainability in both short term and long term, WSA needs to keep a constant monitoring system in place to check performance of the airport, mitigate the impacts of the operation on the environment and continuously strive to set and achieve newer goals. Even choice of vendors who would work with WSA follow and agree to their systems and procedures for maintaining lesser carbon imprints and keeping the operations sustainable. While constructing, the shape and size of the building is kept such that there is lesser energy consumption.

Limitations of the Proposal
To gain value upon WSA’s sustainability, WSA is largely coworking with IS (Infrastructure Sustainability) rating scheme of Australia. This scheme is the only comprehensive rating system for checking sustainability on planning, designing, construction, other operational phases of programs, assets, projects and phases of infrastructure. Without these ratings the value of WSA will depreciate (Chang et al., 2019, pp. 133-137) .

Then, there is NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) which check the carbon emissions, consumption of water, efficiency of energy in the infrastructure, waste and so on and compare with other airports. NABERS can help save money, set efficiency objectives, scale functioning and endeavor for perfection (Wilkinson, 2018, pp. 153-174). It is also an Australian system, aimed for the Australian market. This, along with Green Star, which is another of Australia’s holistic sustainability rating system will further add value to the infrastructure and keep it future fit (Residovic, 2017, pp. 3030-310).

The primary challenge to achieving the sustainability and environment friendly is the sheer size of the airport facility which is 200 hectares. The very unique nature of the airport of being the second largest airport of Australia, rendering it high profile, and large scale of the operation poses a huge challenge in assessment activities as well. Monitoring reviewing and maintenance of the entire facility needs to be real-time monitored to address issues which could lead to decrease in rating during assessments. Not only that the above certifications and even more that WSA plans to implement would mean extensive implementation overseeing and coordination with appropriate stakeholders for various assessment submissions, liasoning with correct authorities and meeting various operational challenges to ensure compliance at all time throughout this entire giant facility. Also the WSA board and CEO will need to put in place various organizational policies and protocols during the strategic planning processes to ensure embedding compliance. The operations are mostly huge as the facility is big and too many factors are involved. To adhere to all of them keeping sustainability and environment friendliness in mind would be a humongous possible limitation to this idea. ?

The report highlights the importance of another big airport need in Australia’s Sydney without which, there could be loss amounting to billions. The losses could involve tourism centric losses of revenue for the continent, employment losses and various allied activities. Hence, the Western Sydney Australia airport has been built on huge land amounting to 200 hectares. The under-construction facility aims to become sustainable and environment-friendly.

For such a large facility to stay tall on those objectives, there are large systems and protocols that need to be established at the infrastructure. This report discusses the problems associated with airport operations and problems that arise for environment and as sustainability challenges. There is issue of pollution, ground water wastage, waste disposal, noise pollution and so on. Through various measures and protocols different airports have been able to reduce carbon imprints worldwide because of which they also enjoy lot of tax benefits and perks of business in the form of preference and permissions from the government.

Certain short term and long terms implications of not being environment friendly or sustainable as an airport has also been addressed. The challenges with implementation of the proposals by WSA have been discussed. Fair discussion has also been done around the potential solution to the issue of sustainability and environment friendly challenge of the WSA. If everything goes according to the set objectives, WSA holds potential to cater the forecasted larger numbers well till 2060. ?

Baxter, G. (2021). Achieving Carbon Neutral Airport Operations By 2025: The Case of Sydney Airport, Australia. Transport and Telecommunication, 22(1), 1-14.

Bjørn, A., Kalbar, P., Nygaard, S. E., Kabins, S., Jensen, C. L., Birkved, M., ...&Hauschild, M. Z. (2018). Pursuing necessary reductions in embedded GHG emissions of developed nations: Will efficiency improvements and changes in consumption get us there?. Global Environmental Change, 52, 314-324.

Chang, R., Wang, Q., & Ding, Z. (2019). How is the Energy Performance of Buildings Assessed in Australia?—A Comparison between four Evaluation Systems. Int. J. Struct. Civil Eng. Res, 8, 133-137.

Gui, X., & Gou, Z. (2021). Understanding green building energy performance in the context of commercial estates: A multi-year and cross-region analysis using the Australian commercial building disclosure database. Energy, 222, 119988.

(2021). Retrieved 3 June 2021, from

Residovic, C. (2017). The new NABERS indoor environment tool–the next frontier for Australian buildings. Procedia Engineering, 180, 303-310.

Ritchie, H. (2021). Climate change and flying: What share of global CO2 emissions come from aviation? Retrieved from

Santa, S. L. B., Ribeiro, J. M. P., Mazon, G., Schneider, J., Barcelos, R. L., & de Andrade, J. B. S. O. (2020). A Green Airport model: Proposition based on social and environmental management systems. Sustainable Cities and Society, 59, 102160.

Silling, U. (2019). Aviation of the Future: What needs to change to get aviation fit for the twenty-first century. In Aviation and Its Management-Global Challenges and Opportunities. IntechOpen.

Wilkinson, S. (2018). Rating Tools, Resilience and Sustainable Change of Use Adaptations. Building Urban Resilience through Change of Use, 153-174.

Zhang, R., & Fujimori, S. (2020). The role of transport electrification in global climate change mitigation scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, 15(3), 034019.


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