There are 664 aerodromes in Australia. These range from major international gateways and regional airports, to dirt strips in remote communities.
In the 2015-16 financial year there were 116.06 million passenger movements through Australia’s more than 180 domestic airports. This was an increase of 2.25 per cent compared with the 2014-15 financial year
For the same period, more than 36.22 million international passengers travelled on air services to and from Australian airports, an increase of 7.9 per cent over the 2014-15 financial year.
Thirty years ago these figures were 29.07 million and 5.42 million respectively. Australia's airports have significantly grown to meet the increased demand.
According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development:
The aviation industry contributed $7 billion to Australia’s GDP in 2014–15 and in August 2015 directly employed 58,900 people.
In 2011 Oxford Economic estimated the value of the aviation sector to the Australian economy as gross value add $31.9 billion, employment contribution (direct and indirect) 311,000 jobs. Finally the sector contributes around $9.2 billion in taxes.
Regional aerodromes provide a critical service for remote communities, allowing access by the Royal Flying Doctors service and local bank and postal planes.
The annual gross value added by the air and space industry to the Australian economy is $9.4 Billion (5204.0 - Australian System of National Accounts, 2015-16).
Airports are a major supporter of trade. Air freight is used primarily for low-volume, high-value items. Approximately 996,900 tonnes of freight was carried on international flights to and from Australia's airports in 2015-16. The average value of air cargo, by weight, is in the order of 300 to 350 times that of sea cargo. International air freight also represents less than 0.1 per cent of Australia’s total merchandise trade, by volume, but makes up over 21 per cent of total trade by value (17 per cent of total exports and 26 per cent of total imports).