Brisbane Airport’s Runway 01L/19R – the airport’s most significant infrastructure project of the last decade – has now been open for one year.
Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said that while opening a major piece of new aviation infrastructure during an historic downturn in global aviation was never part of the plan, the runway would ultimately prove to have been an invaluable investment in the future of Queensland.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult for the aviation industry, as well as the whole community, but we have never lost sight of the fact that this project has been built for the long-term,” Mr de Graaff said.
“It will serve people well for many decades to come.
“Brisbane’s new runway was built because the city and the state needed it.
“As the airport operator, we have an obligation to ensure that when airlines and people need access at the airport, they can get it.”
Recognising the importance of the new runway, recent community sentiment research commissioned by Brisbane Airport indicates that:
- Seventy-four per cent of Brisbane residents agree that the new runway will have economic benefits for the community
- Seventy-one per cent of Brisbane residents agree that the new runway will help create more jobs in our community
- Seventy-nine per cent of Brisbane residents agree that the new runway is essential to avoiding delays to flights in and out of Brisbane Airport in the future
The research was undertaken by Enhance in March and April 2020, with 1,002 residents surveyed across five electorates of greater Brisbane: Brisbane, Griffith, Lilley, Moreton, and Ryan.
“At the opening last year, I said that travel is at the heart of modern society and the human need to explore and to connect means that ultimately nothing will keep us grounded forever. That is still my belief,” Mr de Graaff said.
“Brisbane Airport, and this new runway, will play a leading part in ensuring Brisbane and Queensland have the infrastructure and mechanisms in place to not just recover from COVID-19, but to prosper.”
Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said, “Brisbane Airport is a vital gateway for people and freight, and a vital part of Queensland’s Economic recovery.
“When we emerge from the pandemic the added capacity of the second runway will see our recovery take off.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, said, “Prior to the pandemic, momentum for Brisbane as a tourist destination was building, and passenger numbers were predicted to double from 24 million to 50 million over the next 20 years.
“While this progress has been temporarily put on hold, it was important for us to continue to invest in the infrastructure that will future-proof our growing city; and that’s exactly what Brisbane Airport’s second runway has done.
“At full flight, this runway will help put Brisbane back on its pre-pandemic growth path by offering better connectivity and a direct link to our local businesses, exporters and emerging major innovation, technology, investment and corporate hubs.
“Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone.”
Queensland Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport, Stirling Hinchliffe, said, “Brisbane Airport’s parallel runway is transformational infrastructure that will help underwrite Queensland’s growth.
“On the first anniversary of the opening of the new runway, there’s a lot to celebrate for the future.
“We know the capacity of the new runway will be critical in the months ahead as we rebuild tourism better for the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said, “I commended the BAC’s second runway for increasing the efficiency of on-time flight arrivals and departures – a welcome improvement for the thousands of resource industry FIFO workers who use it every day.
“Queensland’s resources industry has been one of the biggest users of Brisbane Airport over the past year.
“In fact, at times during the pandemic, up to 80 per cent of the flights using Brisbane Airport were to and from resource industry centres.
“On-time arrivals and departures mean more time on the job and more time back with their families.”