Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff and Paul Coughlan on BNE's new runway

Following eight years of construction, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) has announced the date its new runway will become operational.

The first flights will take off and land on the new runway on Sunday 12 July 2020.

Timings of the first arrival and departure have not yet been confirmed.

Brisbane’s new runway is expected to be brought to completion under budget at a cost of $1.1 billion, marking a saving of $200 million.

BAC Chief Executive Officer, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said the announcement was a significant milestone for Brisbane, given the new runway has been part of long-term planning for more than forty years.

“I am proud to have been part of an iconic project that will transform and provide unlimited opportunities for our city, region and state,” Mr de Graaff said.

“Today is a culmination of eight years of physical construction, many years before that in planning, and foresight from nearly half a century ago for one of the most exciting projects in Brisbane’s history.

“It’s surreal to think we are just months away from seeing the first aircraft land and depart on this infrastructure masterpiece.

“The new runway is so much more than asphalt; it is an enabler for growth across all facets, with an estimated 7,800 new jobs created by 2035 and an additional five billion in annual economic benefit to the region.

“We are seeing firsthand that the new runway is bringing more flights, destinations and choices for the travelling public, and this growth will only strengthen from 12 July 2020.”

Mr de Graaff said that while BAC recognised the benefits of the new runway and the airport would be felt right across the city, state and country, it was conscious of its community and the potential impact of new flight paths in relation to aircraft noise.

“BAC has always been incredibly proactive in keeping our community informed about the project and aircraft noise, and we will continue our extensive community engagement program well after the runway itself opens, generating honest and informed conversations about the new flight paths,” he said.

Mr de Graaff encouraged everyone residing in Brisbane to visit the dedicated Flight Path Tool, which allows users to search any address to find out specific information in relation to aircraft volume forecasts and the expected noise footprint for the current and future flight paths.

The tool also shows noise mapping, highlighting areas that will experience aircraft noise of 70 decibels or more. 

Before the runway becomes operational, community members will be given a rare opportunity to participate in two special events held on the runway site.

The line marking of the new runway and accompanying taxiways commenced concurrently to the announcement, marking the final component of the construction programme for this monumental project.

Over the next four to six weeks, more than 6,780L of paint will be placed on the runway and taxiways, spanning 120km in length. With two coats of paint used, there is enough paint to create a straight line between Brisbane and Hervey Bay.

The largest paint strip for the project is the two aiming points located at each end of the runway, which each measure 60m long by 9m wide.

The paint for the taxiways will incorporate more than 1.3 tonnes of glass beads – tiny balls that help make the paint reflective.

Allstate Line Marking, subcontracted by Skyway, will complete the line marking with the help of Tiny Surveyor, an innovative robotic tool supplied by geospatial solutions provider Position Partners.

Tiny Surveyor negates the need for surveyors to manually set out the runway lines by foot saving considerable time while also improving safety on site.

Following the completion of the line marking, the detailed commissioning process for the new ground lighting, navigational aids and control tower systems will commence.

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