Sydney Airport Named the 'Worst Airport' in Australia Due to Congestion and Service Quality Issues

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The Queen Mary 2 sets sail past the Sydney Opera House, February 19, 2014.
The Queen Mary 2 sets sail past the Sydney Opera House, February 19, 2014. REUTERS REUTERS/Jason Reed

The Sydney Airport in Australia has been ranked the worst large airport as passengers expressed their dissatisfaction about the congestion in its domestic and international terminals. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)'s annual report, Australia's biggest airports will need to invest more to address congestion, passenger growth and boost service levels.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said it is possible that the monitored airports in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth will be under mounting pressure in the coming years given proof of congestion.

In the ACCC's state of the airport report, Brisbane is the only airport that has shown improvement in service quality. Sydney Airport's quality of service was rated the lowest among the largest airports in Australia.

Melbourne Airport had a rating of "satisfactory" with its "average" quality of service. Airline passengers rated Tullamarine "good" in service. Ratings of airlines dropped from "satisfactory" to "poor." The ACCC reported that airlines were concerned about the Melbourne Airport's standards and availability of aircraft-related facilities like parking bays. The ACCC said it has seen evidence in capacity issues in terminals and its linked road systems.

The Sydney Airport's service quality has shown no change and dropped to the bottom of the rankings. Passengers rated Kingsford Smith as "satisfactory" while airlines said the airport's service is "poor."

Sydney Airport's low quality of service and low investments in addressing the demands of passengers and airlines indicate that the necessary improvements have not been made. The ACCC recognises that the airport's expansion to accommodate service needs may be limited due to regulatory constraints. However, the airport has the ability to address the issues of some services related to aircraft and passengers.

According to the report, the Sydney Airport had the highest revenue and margins from car parking space fees. Travellers pay $56 for parking their cars for eight hours in Sydney's airport. A fee of $32 is charged for three hours of parking and $16 for an hour.  Melbourne Airport charges the same fee as Sydney's for $56 for eight hours but lower fees for three and one-hour parking with $28 and $14 respectively. 

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