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Abstract: Airports are seen as powerful drivers of local economic development, attracting aviation linked and wider businesses to their environs. This significance is heightened by their elevation as key nodes within global economic networks. These ideas lie behind the promotion of the ‘aerotropolis’ economic region associated most closely with John Kasarda. Drawing on census data for the period 1996-2011, and working at three main spatial scales (airport, surrounding region, and global economic corridor), this paper explores employment trends in Sydney where the aerotropolis theory posits there would be evidence of significant airport-related development. The paper examines the type of employment being generated to convey an appreciation of trends over. The analysis provides insights into Sydney Airport itself as a growth node, its stimulus of economic development within the contiguous area, its contribution to broader metropolitan development, and evidence for the aerotropolis model.