The many and varied achievements of Australia’s airport sector have been recognised following what has been an incredibly challenging year at the Australian Airport Association’s (AAA) virtual National Airport Industry Awards 2021.

AAA Chief Executive James Goodwin said 86 airports and organisations which provided services to the industry nominated for this year’s prestigious awards.

“Despite navigating the most difficult period the sector has faced in living memory, as resilient as ever Australia’s airports have taken the challenges in their stride and continued to adapt and innovate, finding new ways of doing things, forging ahead with major infrastructure projects, diversifying their businesses and developing new partnerships,” Mr Goodwin said.

“Australia’s airport sector strives to make a difference and continues to develop infrastructure that enhances the passenger’s experience whilst making a valued contribution to our wider community.” 

Sydney Airport was the big winner of the afternoon taking home three awards including Capital City Airport of the Year, Airport Excellence Operations Award and Airport Excellence Sustainability Award.

Newcastle Airport was named Major Airport of the Year for cementing its role as a regional leader shaping the future growth of the Hunter region and northern New South Wales, while Archerfield Airport was awarded Metro Airport of the Year for the completion of a range of key infrastructure projects including the full reconstruction, lengthening and strengthening of the main runway.

Emerald Airport in Central Queensland won the Large Regional Airport of the Year Award for its major upgrade of existing assets including Australia’s first bespoke designed Stone Mastic Asphalt runway, while Shellharbour Airport on the New South Wales South Coast took home the Small Regional (RPT) Airport of the Year for its $20 million upgrade of the terminal, runway and taxiways.

Orbost Airport in East Gippsland was presented the Small Regional (non-RPT) Aerodrome of the Year Award for the critical role it played in the 2019/20 summer bushfires which ravaged the region.

Several innovation and excellence awards were also presented, showcasing a range of projects from across the industry.

AAA Chair Tom Ganley said an enormous amount of planning and hard work went into all projects and initiatives recognised during today’s ceremony. “I congratulate this afternoon’s winners and nominees on their high level of professionalism, community spirit and commitment to the passenger that is clearly demonstrated across each category. It’s clear the future of our sector is in very capable hands,” Mr Ganley said.