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The Crane Count Keeps Rising in Sydney (Unsurprisingly)

Sydney continues to claim its status as Australia’s crane capital.

Business owners and investors alike can rest assured that, in spite of COVID-19, the city’s construction industry is still in an all-time business-as-usual mode.

Sydney’s crane count impresses everyone, again

Just recently, the Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) Crane Index crowned Sydney as the city with the most number of cranes in Australia. Sydney is still Australia’s crane capital, years after it snagged the same title in 2017.

This year sees Sydney winning by a landslide in the crane count race, in which 813 cranes were displayed across Australia’s horizon.

Again, Sydney took home the crown when the RLB Crane Index saw a total of 348 cranes dotting its skyline. Melbourne came at a not-so-close second, but still took pride in having 192 cranes to its name. Brisbane (79), Perth (55), and the Gold Coast (40) came behind, leaving plenty of dust for other cities to catch up.

Canberra got by with 31 cranes, the Sunshine Coast and Adelaide managed to come up with 16, and both Newcastle and Wollongong struggled along with 12 cranes each.

Darwin’s two cranes barely hung by a thread, and Hobart bowed in silence with zero cranes.

A repeat of the successful crane count years of 2017 and 2018

crane count sydney

Sydney’s winning streak doesn’t come as a surprise, which started way back in 2017, during which 654 cranes were racing towards Australian skies.

334 of those cranes proudly belonged to Sydney, while 146 were parked in Melbourne.

Brisbane’s skyline came in third, with 81 cranes against Gold Coast’s 30 cranes, Perth’s 24 cranes, Canberra’s 19 cranes, and Adelaide’s 15 cranes. Newcastle (4), Hobart (1), and Darwin (0) trailed far behind the other cities.

Sydney refused to change its triumphant tune in 2018.

Australia was seen holding its head up high with 684 cranes that year. Sydney showed up as the proud owner of 346 of those cranes. Melbourne came up behind Sydney with 158 cranes, and Brisbane followed suit with 67.

The remaining cities managed to bring a total of 113 cranes to the construction industry table. Perth had 33, Gold Coast had 23, Canberra had 17, Adelaide had 15, Newcastle had 10, the Sunshine Coast had 10 as well, Hobart had 5, and Darwin had 0.

The RLB Crane Index explained

The RLB Crane Index was designed to count the number of cranes in a particular area.

In 2012, it set into motion its theory on the number of construction cranes being directly proportional to the construction sector’s economic standing.

The agency which developed the index, RLB, realised the significance of crane counting when studying Australia’s construction industry, which has been a key economic player in the country for quite some time.

Why cranes matter from an airspace perspective

With the way business is booming and crane numbers rising in Sydney, it’s easy to see why many investors want to dip their toe into Australia’s construction industry.

But along with economics, airspace is an important subject they should include in their feasability studies.

Because crane operations always have the possibility of getting in the way of flying aircraft – and potentially placing  airport operations in jeopardy – potential investors should understand airspace restrictions in Australia. Safety regulations, operations assessment, and application approval should be included in any construction business plan.

Infrastructure projects can potentially face delays or even entire cancellations – simply because of a failure to understand the impacts of a proposed development and its associated crane activity on the use of airspace.

This is where a professional aeronautical impact assessment is essential to construction business owners and investors.