Sydney Airport has been named Australia’s least popular airport for the third year running by consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The watchdog’s report, to be released on Monday, found that an overall decline was reported in the quality of airport services and facilities, despite ballooning profits.

The report measured passenger satisfaction of experiences such as check-in lines and security points. The ACCC report relates only to terminals run and owned by airport operators.

Airport users rated Brisbane Airport the most popular for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and then Sydney.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said that as passenger numbers grew at the monitored airports in 2007-08, so too did the airports’ charges to airlines.

“Interestingly, the financial performance of the airports does not appear to be strongly related to the quality of service they provide,” said Samuel.

Perth Airport had the highest passenger growth rate – at 13.5%, or 1.1 million passengers – but Sydney and Melbourne airports had the highest increase in absolute numbers, with about 1.8 million extra passengers passing through each of the airports in 2007-08.

All international terminals are subject to monitoring, however, some domestic terminals leased and operated by airlines and are not subject to monitoring, including the Qantas domestic terminals in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

By Daniel Garrun