The federal government will contribute $181 million to an upgrade of the Sunshine Coast Airport that will transform the airport into an international air passenger and freight hub.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said under an agreement with the Sunshine Coast Council, the federal government will provide a concessional loan to help finance construction of a new runway and extensions of the airport’s terminal and aircraft aprons.
“Upon completion, the airport will be able to accommodate aircrafts as large as the Airbus A330 or Boeing 787, which opens the region to a broader range of international locations, including important growth markets in Southeast Asia,” Mr Chester said.
“The agreement to provide the Sunshine Coast Council with a concessional loan for the works demonstrates the Turnbull Government’s clear commitment to jobs and economic growth in regional economies, particularly those that will have a significant positive flow-on effect for the Australian economy as a whole.
“The federal government’s decision to help finance the upgrade follows Sunshine Coast Airport’s recent formal designation as an international airport – a move which provides opportunities to promote the region as a leisure and business destination for new overseas markets.”
Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien, said the government’s swift action in delivering on its election commitment to upgrade the airport would provide jobs in the region.
“Allowing larger aircraft to operate through the Sunshine Coast Airport provides real international export growth opportunities for businesses in the region,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Providing international visitors with direct access to Australia’s Sunshine Coast may be the difference between them choosing this region over another as their holiday or business destination.
“The airport expansion will provide over 1,500 direct and 650 indirect full-time jobs during construction phase.
“Between 2020 and 2040 the airport upgrades are estimated to deliver $4.1 billion in economic benefits to the Sunshine Coast region,” Mr O’Brien said.