The Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project is another step closer towards delivery, with the Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham today releasing the State Coordinator General’s report accepting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.
Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the news, saying the Coordinator General’s report and approval was an important step towards the region’s game-changer project becoming a reality.
The Airport Expansion Project includes delivering a new 2450m x 45m runway fully compliant with regulatory standards; runway end taxiway loops, an expanded apron and terminal facilities, a new air traffic control tower and associated infrastructure.
“The Project will deliver a world of opportunities and is a major game-changer for the Sunshine Coast and surrounding regions,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It will enable direct flights to more destinations across Australia, Asia and the Western Pacific, enhancing national and global connections.
“It will also generate jobs and economic growth, boost tourism, help export businesses and secure air access to the Sunshine Coast for generations to come.
“The Commonwealth Government will now review the Coordinator General’s report and council looks forward to receiving approvals, due within 30 days of the report being received. Further specific project approvals will also be required before works can commence.
“I congratulate council’s project team on the quality of the Environmental Impact Statement and the work they have done on this project to date.
“Today is another chapter of this exciting project which has a long history, having been on the drawing board since the 1980s and I look forward to the day the first plane takes off on our new runway.”
Mayor Jamieson said the council would now consider the conditions and recommendations contained within the Coordinator General’s report and envisaged the new runway would be open for operations in 2020.
Sunshine Coast Council Aviation Portfolio Councillor Steve Robinson said the $347 million Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project would help grow passenger numbers and support the needs of the growing Sunshine Coast community.
“It is anticipated it will contribute $4.1 billion to the local economy and result in 3500 fewer dwellings being affected by noise each day,” Cr Robinson said.
The announcement comes on the back of news that Sunshine Coast Airport is the fastest growing airport in the country for the eighth consecutive month.
Recently released data from the Commonwealth Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) confirms a 24% year on year increase in total passengers for the month of February.
Growth can be attributed to strong ongoing demand for services at Sunshine Coast Airport from both local residents and visitors, as well as the introduction of Qantas services to Sydney in December last year.
Jetstar also announced new flights from Adelaide to the Sunshine Coast three times a week starting this September, adding 56,000 seats each year to the airport’s capacity.
Australia’s fastest growing airports*
- Sunshine Coast 23.9%
- Gold Coast 12.2%
- Sydney 10.1%
- Williamtown 8.7%
- Melbourne 8.7%
(*BITRE statistics – for February 2016 compared to February 2015)