With construction now complete on the $334 million new runway at Sunshine Coast Airport, it is now ready for flights.
The runway was officially handed over to airport operators on 12 June 2020. The first landing honours went to a flight from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast on Sunday, 14 June.
At 2,450m long, the new runway (Runway 13/31) is over half a kilometre longer than the one it replaces.
The longer length of the runway will allow new direct flights and larger passenger jets to land, enabling more tourists into the region and more cargo to be traded interstate and overseas.
The airport expansion project was a partnership between Sunshine Coast Council and Palisade Investment Partners, which owns the Sunshine Coast Airport. It was assisted by a loan from the Queensland Treasury.
Queensland Development Minister, Kate Jones, said the Sunshine Coast was a vital trade hub for hundreds of primary producers in southeast Queensland.
“This runway will be crucial to the economic recovery of the region. It will generate millions of dollars for local businesses through the tourism industry,” she said.
“With a longer runway that’s able to accept bigger planes, we’ll be able to negotiate with airlines to secure direct fights from other destinations – not just Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland.
“In the long-term, we want to bring more tourists to the Sunshine Coast to create more jobs for locals in this sector. New flights are crucial to achieving that.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson, said the new runway was the biggest piece of infrastructure that Council had delivered and it would have resounding benefits for the region for decades to come.
“A hallmark of successful cities, communities and regions is connectivity and the Sunshine Coast Airport can now accommodate flights to all ports in Australia as well as Asia and the Western Pacific,” Cr Jamieson said.
“Importantly, the new international-standard runway will provide the Sunshine Coast and surrounding regions with its own direct travel and export gateway to the world.