Your Guide to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (YSSY)

Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport is one of, if not the primary gateways to Australia. Sydney is by far the busiest airport in the country, with nearly 900 flights a day and 3 million passengers each month.


Runways:

16R / 34L - This is the main runway at SYD, it sees the most use out of the three available runways mainly due to it’s length. If you’re a heavy aircraft you should be departing from this runway. At nearly 4km in length it is able to accommodate the biggest jets we get here.

16L / 34R - The second of the two North/South runways here, this runway is mainly used for lighter/smaller departures, and aircraft departing to either the East (e.g. Auckland) or the South (Melbourne). A380 ops for this runway are prohibited - There are no taxiways to the runway that are able to accommodate the A380.

07/25 - The singular East/West runway sees the least usage on a day to day basis of all runways. Runway 25 is used on a semi-regular basis when the winds require it, usually around 15-20kts of direct crosswind. This runway can accept A380s, you will often see A380s departing for Singapore from this runway.


Where Do I Park and Spawn?


International Flights - Terminal 1

INTL Terminal

→ Sydney has 25 available bays that are directly connected to the terminal building (Outlined in Red)
→ There are a further 9 bays that are used as remote gates (Outlined in Yellow) - Bays 1-6 are also Cargo bays.
→ The bays circled Green indicate the available parking locations for the A380

Note

Bays 1-6 are labelled in app as “Cargo #” - They can be, and are regularly used for Pax ops on a daily basis as remote bus gates in addition to their normal Cargo use.

Domestic Flights - Terminals 2 and 3

Terminal 2 - Jetstar / Virgin / Rex

→ Terminal 2 is split between the 3 big domestic carriers named above.
→ Jetstar mostly use the first “arm” of the terminal (Outlined Orange)
→ Virgin Australia and Rex use the second “arm” of Terminal 2. Both airlines use B737-800 aircraft at these gates.
→ The remote stands at Domestic are mainly used by the Rex Saab Fleet, however Virgin Australia occasionally use bays F5 + F6 as remote stands. In addition to this, Link Airways and FlyPelican also use these remote stand on occasion. (Outlined Yellow)
→ The 90s bays are rarely used, mainly for storage or the occasional remote gate when busy (Outlined Green)

Note

It is not uncommon for all the airlines to rotate through the two “arms” where it is operationally required.

Terminal 3 - Qantas / QantasLink

→ The Qantas Terminal has 31 bays available. Bays 1-14 are directly connected to the Terminal, these are used by all Qantas Flights. All gates can accommodate the B737-800 which is the primary aircraft used here. (Outlined in Red)
→ Bays Circled in Green can accommodate A330 Aircraft.
→ QantasLink aircraft use the remote bays, DH8D Aircraft only (Outlined in Yellow)
→ The Qantas Jet Base is where all maintenance takes place for the Qantas Fleet. (Outlined Blue)
→ Outlined in Orange are the remaining Cargo stands, Primarily used by DHL 777F.

Note
  • QantasLink B717s park in the regular Qantas Bays, not the remote QLink bays.
  • When A330 aircraft are parked on bay 13, bays 12 & 14 are unable to be used.

Private Jets

DOM5 + DOM6 aprons

→ SYD thankfully gets a decent amount of Private Jet movements, they park near the threshold of runway 25. (Outlined Yellow)
→ The Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) use the remaining stands and hangar to store and park their fleet of King Air and Pilatus Aircraft (Outlined Red)


Taxi Routes

Inbound + Outbound 16L/34R

No particularly complicated taxi routes for Sydney. General rule: Keep Left

The only clarification needed is here:

Inbound: Green route
Outbound: Red route


Standard Departure Procedures / SIDs

Below are some recommendations for SID usage. The SY2 in app will not add anything to your Flight plan, it is purely a radar vectors departure. Aircraft departing from the parallel runways MUST turn away from the adjacent runway.

Runway 07 is hardly used due to the fact that the winds almost always favour the other runways.

16R

Recommended SID:
DEENA7 (RNAV) - Select any of the transitions depending on you destination.

34L

Recommended SIDs:
RIC5 - Per the charts, “After passing 12 SY, EXPECT RADAR vectors to cleared route.” Aircraft that don’t require vectors will track to the RIC NDB, then as cleared.

→ WOL2 / KADOM1 - Track 335º. At 800 turn LEFT. Track 290º to 10 DME SY.

WOL: At 10 DME SY turn LEFT Track 260. After passing 7000 turn LEFT. Track direct to ANKUB. From ANKUB track 182º to WOL NDB, then via cleared route.

KADOM: At 10 DME SY Track DCT KADOM, thence via cleared route

16L

Recommended SIDs:
→ KEVIN 6 (RNAV)

→ ABBEY3 (RNAV)

34R

Recommended SIDs:
–>ENTRA5 (RNAV)

–>MARUB6 (RNAV) - Vectors from MARUB to cleared route.

07

Recommended SID:
–>FISHA8 (RNAV) - Vectors to cleared route from FISHA if not transitioning at ENTRA or WOL

25

For Runway 25, there are no official RNAV departures. Instead, the Sydney 2 radar departure is used for Runway 25. Aircraft will depart and fly heading 242º (runway heading) to 800 ft. From there they turn to their assigned heading and expect vectors to their cleared route.

→ Sydney Two
NB: Chart below shows procedures for ALL runways. SY2 is mostly used by prop aircraft on the other runways.


Standard Arrival Procedures / STARS

Sydney has a few decent STARs for pilots to use. The three most used / usable are the BORE3A, MARLN5 and RIVET3. These cover all directions for inbound aircraft, charts and what arrival to use are listed below.

BORE3A - Arrivals from the North

MARLN5 - Arrivals from the East & SE/NE

RIVET3 - Arrivals from the South and West

NB: The BORE3P can also be used, but it only serves RWY16R.


ATC

Runway Configuration suggestions:

34L & 34R → Both runways available for landing and departing
16L & 16R → As above
25 → Available for both landing and departure - Also recommend having 34L/16R available where required for heavy aircraft departing on long flights. e.g. an A380 to LAX
07 → As above

Something Different

If you’d like to try out something different, SODPROPS could be for you… if it’s not too busy and you’re a more experienced controller.

On occasion, Sydney will run Simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations the name says it all. Usual config is as follows:

→ 34L arrivals, 16L Departures. 34L available for departures IF OPERATIONALLY REQUIRED.

I’ll keep this thread up to date with any amendments / NOTAMs. Hope this helps you when you next fly to/from Sydney.

Alex 🇦🇺

Banner credit goes to @sqeezelemon - dates back to 2021… it’s just taken me a while to get this up.

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Well done!!!

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Thank you!

Great, thanks Alex_E!

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No worries! Hope it helps 😊

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Omg finally! A guide for the magnificent Sydney airport

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Haha, there was one before but I’ve gone into a fair bit more detail to help everyone understand it a bit better. Really cool airport once you know it.

Cheers 🤙🏼

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Just to add a quick update, with all the ongoing work at YSSY…

Bays 30, 32 and 36 are currently being upgraded in preparation for the commencement of project sunrise. The work will, of course, be completed in time for the arrival of the first Qantas A350-1000.

In addition to this, Sydney Airport are commencing upgrades to the remote bays near the control tower. Their 20 year plan includes the option for construction of a satellite terminal with lounge + food facilities.

Over the next 20 years, we can expect a number of taxiway upgrades, extensions and additions. Most importantly an extension to taxiway Bravo to run the full length of 16R/34L (East side)


If you’d like to check out the full Sydney Airport 2039 Master Plan, you may do so here

Thanks for the guide! Very handy for people who are flying into SYD for the first time.

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All good! Yessss, I really do hope it helps

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I was looking through that pdf, and I found something disturbing… a face and a vary excited one. Once you see it ya can’t un see it…….
its in the taxi ways, 🤫

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IMG_2499

Lmao
:D

Hi Alex,

Just would like to suggest a minor change:

Since January 2022, the NSW Ambulance operation has been handled by Pel-Air, one of Rex’s subsidiaries. This is as opposed to the previous operator RFDS.

Hope this clarifies!

Thanks for mentioning that, I’ve been so used to it being the RFDS over the years 🙃

I’ll add it to the list of things I need to update.

Cheers

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Not sure if Infinite Flight has the new navigation data, but there’s been a major change to the procedures in Sydney and quite a few other airports in the area irl with AIRAC cycle 2312, which took place in November last year.

Changelog:

  • Add SID RWY 34R OLSEM1
  • Modify SID RWY 07 FISHA8
    • Increment validity indicator: FISHA9
    • Replace ENTRA transition with OLSEM
  • Modify SID RWY 16R KAMPI5
    • Increment validity indicator: KAMPI6
    • Add WOL, RIC and KADOM transitions
  • Modify SID RWY 16L KEVIN6
    • Increment validity indicator: KEVIN7
    • Replace ENTRA transition with OLSEM
  • Add NOBAR, DIPSO, EVONN, CAWLY and OPTIC transitions
    • Modify SID RWY 34R MARUB6
    • Increment validity indicator: MARUB7
  • Modify SID RWY 34L RIC5
    • Increment validity indicator: RIC6
  • Modify SID SY2
    • Increment validity indicator: SY3
  • Remove SID RWY 16R DEENA7
  • Remove SID RWY 34R ENTRA5

Also dropping this here, because it’s a fantastic resource for anyone who’s keen on flying as realistically as possible in not just Sydney, but the entirety of Australian airspace. Courtesy of the VATSIM Australia Pacific division.

https://sops.vatpac.org/aerodromes/classc/Sydney/

This is very Good! You should make other Australian Airports!

IF is still on the old nav data. Hopefully we’ll get new data in the future 🙏🏼

Thanks :)

NIce topic! Just a little personal encounter story:

YSSY and its vicinity have taken me years to learn. I was recently visiting a top floor apartment for the first time, slightly west of Mascot Station (upper right corner of image below). It had huge windows looking west toward the approaches to 16R and 16L.

I looked slightly left and was in awe of the perfect view looking down on area ‘4’ and the 16R threshold. For those living here it’s like living in a displaced control tower.

I didn’t understand the proximity until this awesome view just hit me during this first visit.

Then I realized the aircraft slightly in the distance on final approach to (what I later realized was) 16R, made the living room, bedroom and balcony like the perfect spotting residence (would it be overload though??).

And then the first of several 16L aircraft flew past at eye level! (16L higher on the approach here, being displaced from 16R). I couldn’t see through the passenger windows, but it had that kind of feeling.

Sorry, kind of random:) It left a big impression.

So now I’m looking even closer at your topic details.

image

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The way Sydney operates is amazing. The flow of traffic just works

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No problem at all, and thanks for sharing that!


I am extremely jealous of the people who have views of the airport, well apart from the whole constant noise thing 😜

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