Melbourne Airport


Study shows record employment levels at Melbourne Airport

Apr 02, 2008

A report into the economic impact of Melbourne Airport has found that the airport is one of Victoria’s fastest growing employment hubs, with more than 12,500 Victorians in full time equivalent airport-generated positions, supported by a growth of more than 22% in the last five years.

The Melbourne Airport Economic Impact Study 2008, undertaken by Sinclair Knight Mertz, also found that Melbourne Airport’s lack of night-time aircraft curfew represented a significant economic advantage to Victoria, contributing an additional $309 million to state product and facilitating more than 1,150 additional local jobs. By 2011/2012 the lack of curfew is expected to contribute an additional $385 million in production and over 4,440 jobs to the state.

The study was commissioned by Melbourne Airport as a follow up to a 2003 report jointly commissioned by the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport. The 2008 study shows that employment generated by Melbourne Airport has risen by 22 per cent in five years, significantly higher than the Australian average of 12.7 per cent for a similar period.

Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said that job growth generated by Melbourne Airport mirrored the airport’s continued investment into key Victorian transport infrastructure.

“Over the last five years we have invested more than $246m into Victoria’s international gateway,” said Mr Woodruff. “Our 22% growth in airport employment reflects this investment. Airport-generated jobs have grown strongly in diverse sectors including retail, hospitality and childcare.”

The current $330m expansion of Melbourne’s international terminal – the biggest since the airport was built – is expected to create an additional 1000 new jobs at the airport during construction, and the establishment of new retail and office precincts near the airport’s entrance would each generate an additional 1,100 and 750 ongoing airport-based jobs respectively.

Mr Woodruff also said that the airport’s role within the Victorian economy was critical.

“Each domestic flight between Melbourne and Sydney requires an average of 88 labour hours for a 767 aircraft. Over the course of one year, there are 41,900 Melbourne-Sydney services requiring labour equal to 2,046 Equivalent Full Time (EFT) jobs. And a Melbourne-Los Angeles flight requires some 695 hours of labour at Melbourne Airport every time it turns around. To put it simply: Melbourne Airport’s growth is a key contributor to the economic health of this State,” said Mr Woodruff. 

In announcing the study’s findings, Mr Woodruff was joined by the Federal and State parliamentary representatives for the region encompassing Melbourne Airport: State Member for Yuroke, Liz Beattie and Federal member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou.

State member for Yuroke, Liz Beattie, said she was proud of the key role the airport plays in her electorate.

“Melbourne Airport obviously has a pivotal role in the North West of Melbourne, particularly as so many of my constituents are employed either directly or indirectly at the airport,” said Ms Beattie.

“Critical to its ongoing success, however, is Melbourne Airport’s commitment to working collaboratively with the business sector and the three levels of Government. It boasts the lowest number of noise complaints of any major Australian international airport, and strikes the right balance between job creation and the preservation of residential amenity in all of its development,” said Ms Beattie.

Ms Beattie’s sentiments were supported by Federal Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou.

“Melbourne Airport has long played a significant role in the economic development of Melbourne’s North West region," Ms Vamvakinou said. "This is especially the case in my own electorate of Calwell in which Melbourne Airport is located."

"Melbourne Airport is a major employer of local jobs, and it also provides local business and industry in Calwell with an important competitive advantage when it comes to capitalising on interstate and overseas export opportunities. 

“I know from my own frequent meetings with Melbourne Airport Management that they clearly understand the importance of careful planning and early engagement with key local stakeholders when it comes to the development of airport land. While I encourage Melbourne Airport to expand, in equal measure I encourage them to do so responsibly. And from my perspective – so far, so good," Ms Vamvakinou said. 

Ms Vamvakinou added that whilst sometimes contentious, non-aviation developments at airports – when handled appropriately – provided significant benefits to the local community.

“The development of commercial and retail properties on airport land can sometimes cause community division But when handled correctly, the potential opportunities and benefits can be significant,” said Ms Vamvakinou.

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