A $347million expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport runway that will create 1500 ongoing jobs has received official environmental approval from the Coordinator-General.
The expansion project includes:
- A new 2450m long by 45m wide east-west runway, capable of servicing aircraft such as the Airbus A330, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777
- Proposed changes to airspace and flight paths
- Two end taxiway loops, navigational aids and expansion of the existing apron
- An air traffic control tower and aircraft rescue and firefighting services station.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the project will provide a fantastic boost of confidence for the Sunshine Coast.
“My Government is committed to facilitating transport and tourism infrastructure investment because it means more jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I firmly believe this expansion will help unlock the Sunshine Coast’s unlimited potential.”
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham, said the Coordinator-General’s approval is great news for Sunshine Coast business, community leaders and the tourism industry.
“This project opens up the region to more national and international destinations such as Singapore and Perth and has the potential to bring almost half a million more visitors a year to the coast by 2040,” Dr Lynham said.
“Most importantly, this will generate 1500 more ongoing jobs by 2040, more than 80 construction jobs and an estimated $140million-plus boost to regional economic activity during construction.
“That represents business opportunities for local construction, manufacturing and professional services companies in the region.”
Dr Lynham said conditions and recommendations set on the project would manage potential aircraft noise, protect flora and fauna habitat, and water quality, particularly in the sensitive Maroochy River and Mount Colum National Park.
Dr Lynham also said that the new runway aircraft movements were forecast to grow by 20 per cent to 38,270 by 2020 and a further 30 per cent to 53,480 by 2040, making Sunshine Coast Airport a similar size to Mackay and Newcastle airports.
“Modelling indicates that, by 2040, the realigned east-west runway could result in almost 5000 fewer dwellings affected by aircraft noise than if the north-south runway had been extended,” Dr Lynham said.
“The conditions and recommendations also require the airport to effectively monitor and report aircraft noise, and address any possible increases, in consultation with residents. The airport has given commitments to do this.”
The environmental approval includes 88 conditions and 29 recommendations, drawn up after the Coordinator-General considered 2,227 submissions, as well as the environmental impact statement (EIS) and additional EIS information.
The next stage of the project involves acquiring Federal Government approvals from the Department of Environment, Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.