Sydney Airport officially unveils new forecourt at international arrivals terminal

Sydney Airport officially unveils new forecourt at international arrivals terminal

Sydney Airport officially opened its new T1 International arrivals forecourt on Friday last week, set to be enjoyed by millions of international travellers every year.

The forecourt project is part of Sydney Airport’s 2039 Masterplan, which is focused on delivering a better experience for customers.

Construction of the new forecourt began in November 2021, with sustainable building materials used and native trees, plants, ground covers and grasses selected, with many species endemic to the local area.

T1 International arrivals Forecourt – key numbers

  • 12,200+ native plants (45 different species)
  • 3,000+ sqm of new green space
  • 10,000 sqm of new paving
  • 8,500 sqm of new roof sheeting
  • 160+ new LED lights
  • 31 new seating benches, 8 tables and 32 chairs

“International passengers are now greeted with a vibrant new arrivals forecourt that showcases the natural beauty Sydney is known for,” CEO, Sydney Airport, Geoff Culbert, said.

“When construction on the forecourt began in 2021, Australia’s border was still firmly shut and our international terminal was a ghost town, but we pressed ahead knowing the recovery would come.

“International travel is now thriving again and we’re likely to see more than 7 million arriving passengers through our new forecourt this year alone, with millions more to follow in the coming years.

“The large ‘SYD’ sign has already become one of our most popular selfie spots, and we love that many tourists’ first photo in Australia showcases our stunning new forecourt.

“The inspiring team from Wildflower Gardens for Good have done an incredible job planting the native gardens and it’s a privilege to have them continue on as custodians. We are proud to have an ongoing partnership with this First Nations led organisation that’s empowering youth through employment and strengthening our own connection to country.”

The new forecourt is just one of many major projects currently underway to enhance capacity and improve the experience for passengers. Over the next five years, Sydney Airport is spending nearly $3 billion on capital projects across the precinct.


Image: Supplied (Sydney Airport)

To mark the official opening, NSW Minister for Jobs and Tourism, The Hon. John Graham, MLC, Wildflower Gardens for Good board member, Jasmin Speedy and Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert planted a native Banksia tree in the forecourt.

“This new international airport forecourt will be the front door to Australia for millions of visitors. When they arrive, they will be greeted by this unique, new experience filled with Australian nature and art,” NSW minister for jobs and tourism, The Hon. John Graham, MLC, said.

“It’s encouraging to see Sydney Airport investing in innovative projects like this that have created jobs and will enhance the tourism experience in NSW.”

Indigenous perspectives have been embedded throughout the design, construction and maintenance of the T1 International arrivals Forecourt.

Wildflower Gardens for Good, an Indigenous led not-for-profit organisation that provides meaningful work for people facing barriers to employment, planted more than 12,200 native species throughout the forecourt.

The team is continuing to care for the forecourt gardens, undertaking ongoing landscaping and maintenance work.

Wildflower Gardens for Good board member, Jasmin Speedy, said: “Being able to plant and care for the gardens in such a high-profile site is a source of pride for our young mob.”

“Creating native and sustainable gardens, caring for country and empowering our community are at the heart of what we do.

“It takes genuine support to make meaningful change and as one of our first major partners, we really value our ongoing alliance with Sydney Airport.”

Sydney Airport is also proud to celebrate the language spoken by the Traditional Owners of Coastal Sydney. Collaborating with our long-standing partner, the Gujaga Foundation, who provided Dharawal Language advice.

T1 International arrivals Forecourt redevelopment partnerships

  • Forecourt architect – Hassell
  • Building contractor – Ford Civil
  • Civil and services design – ARUP
  • Landscape contractors – Open Life Designs
  • Landscapers/ongoing grounds maintenance – Wildflower Gardens for Good
  • Identification of appropriate plants – Jiwah
  • Dharawal language advice– Gujaga Foundation
  • Wayfinding and signage – Maynard

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