Read full report : Healthy Airport Regions – A Conceptual Framework (pdf)

Through the 20th century airports grew to become major trade, commercial, transport, tourism, employment and people hubs of the world. In the 21st century the airport promises to be a new core of global and regional connectedness. Airports have, however, significant impacts on the social, physical and economic environment. In particular, concerns around noise and environmental pollution are on the minds of many people in airport affected communities.

Yet airports also have the potential to contribute to improvements in environments for health. They may well support enhanced sustainability and resilience; they potentially create high quality jobs and better education; they attract top quality catering industries and food systems; innovation industries like to be close to global transport hubs; and interconnected multi-modal transport contribute to population health.

Given development of the new Western Sydney Airport, this is why the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE – a research hub with UNSW and an intelligence unit in the South Western Sydney Local Health District’s Population Health Division) was charged with the development of a Healthy Airport Region vision.

Based on a structured scholarly review and broad stakeholder consultation this project proposes that

a Healthy Airport is

…an ever-evolving complex human enterprise responsive to the unique character and composition of the people and communities
that live around and engage with it centered on actions, policies and general governance arrangements enabling
the efficient movement of people, goods and services, through aircraft using it as a departure and arrival base
as well as in its terrestrial supply and waste chains, and aimed at creating conditions for better and equitable health
within its spatial, commercial and perceptual footprints to maximise health potential and minimize health hazards.

The report “Healthy Airport Regions-A Conceptual Framework” identifies twelve dimensions across seven geospatial levels to drive the development of airports as ”engines of health”. It explicitly embraces World Health Organization thinking around ”Healthy Settings” and ”Social Determinants of Health”. Such thinking requires full engagement of all stakeholders, but explicitly communities such as travellers, visitors, fly-in-fly-out staff, local communities, stationary workers and aviation personnel. This paper sees these groups as associated with a Healthy Airport impact and influence that extend far beyond the visual horizon.

(Executive Summary of the report)

Other resources :

Healthy Airports : a research and development agenda

Western Sydney Airport – A Healthy Airport