Government approves Gold Coast Airport redevelopment

An aerial image of Gold Coast Airport. (Gold Coast Airport)
An aerial image of Gold Coast Airport. (Gold Coast Airport)

Gold Coast Airport has received the green light to begin construction on new aircraft stands and aerobridges as well as a terminal upgrade.

The federal government on Friday gave its approval for the airport to start work on the airport redevelopment, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and will cater for the forecast increase in visitors to the Gold Coast in 2018, when the city hosts the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said passenger numbers at Gold Coast Airport were expected to grow from six million passengers a year currently to 16.3 million in 2031.

“The major redevelopment of the airport will almost double the size of the terminal, expand the apron to accommodate five additional aircraft stands and incorporate four new aerobridges — a facility long awaited by travellers,” Truss said in a statement.

“The expansion will also include a consolidated ground transport facility incorporating: a relocated taxi staging area; covered boarding for coaches, mini-buses and limousines; covered pedestrian walkways; and circulation roads for all ground transport modes.”

Stage one of the project involves upgrading the southern end of the airport, including a terminal development, building three new Code E aircraft parking stands (for the likes of Boeing 777s, 787s and Airbus A330s and A350s) and two aerobridges, Gold Coast Airport said in July 2015.

A consultation paper published in 2015 showed Gold Coast’s current apron had capacity for 11 aircraft stands comprising three Code E and eight Code C (for Boeing 737s or Airbus A320s) aircraft. This was two short of forecast demand for 13 stands in 2015.

Moreover, the lack of available space was particularly felt during the morning peak periods, when the bulk of international flights from Asia arrived at the airport.

“By 2018, it is forecast that the apron capacity will be exceeded by two stands and by 2021, the apron capacity will be exceeded by four stands,” the paper said.

“If action is not taken to further develop aviation facilities at the airport by 2018, it will significantly limit the airport’s ability to service the future domestic and international passenger demand and address the current capacity issues.”

Truss said about 117,000 visitors, 5,000 athletes, 2,000 officials and 2,700 media representatives were expected to travel to the Gold Coast for the once-every-four-years sporting event.

Further, he said about 230 full time jobs would be created during construction, while there would be 180 additional full-time jobs created once the terminal expansion is finished.

The Minister, who on Thursday announced he was retiring from politics and would not contest the next election, said the apron and taxiway expansion would be completed in two stages, with the second stage to be finished by early 2021.

In January, the government also approved Gold Coast Airport’s proposal to install an instrument landing system (ILS) for flights landing from the north on Runway 14.

Comments

  1. Tony says

    Not sure how this staged development works. International flights stands are to the north yet the 2 (yes only 2) aerobridges are to be on the southern end. The great hope for the Commonwealth games was lots of international visitors who look likely to enjoy a walk in the rain. Sometimes passengers are not allowed to disembark onto the wet open stairs and sit trapped on board. Only Qantas have covered stairs.
    Pleased that it’s start on world class, just a long way still to go.

  2. Red Barron says

    First think to do is remove the awful PA system. You can never understand a thing they are saying

  3. Ben says

    I’m not sure that aerobridges are the right solution for the Gold Coast. It is predominately used by LCCs and they traditionally like to use stairs to save costs and for faster turnarounds etc. If you’re going to put aerobridges anywhere, put more in at the big capital city airports to handle their growth and better cater for their higher proportion of premium traffic. Also I would have thought if you’re going to put aerobridges in an airport where there are none at the moment, then Hobart would be a good option. Admittedly HBA is also predominately a LCC airport as well, but its the only capital city in Australia without aerobridges. Also putting aerobridges there would work in well with it’s recent announcement of a runway extension and could help with attracting long haul and/or premium traffic. Having said that, I’m all for expanding the Gold Coast, I just don’t think aerobridges are the right fit for the type of traffic they get.

  4. Marc says

    @Tony
    You cant have cheap fares and aerobridges at the same time. People need to live a little bit instead of living in a bubble. Nothing better than stepping out on a tarmac.

  5. Tony says

    @marc
    my recent flights from Gold Coast have cost me less than the overpriced airport parking. Is it the LCC who pays for the aerobridge or the airport. If the latter then they can easily afford more than 2.
    My comment was partly aimed at the lack of information from GC airport on how the new development works. No plans on their website but they say both international and domestic will use these 2 aerobridges? Really confusing given that international currently is north end and passengers are segregated by extra security from domestic. Sad if Int security regs affect all future domestic flights.

  6. Craigy says

    The airport pays to have them installed and then charges for their use like other facilities provided by the airport. The user pay system is used worldwide where the airline doesn’t own the terminal

  7. Tyron says

    I think its pretty obvious from this article that the initial development to the Southern domestic end will be to provide premium facilities (airbridges and improved lounges) for the full service carriers. QF and VA will probably be assigned an airbridge each whilst the domestic LCC’s will generally remain at stand off bays. It makes complete sense as most inbound traffic for the commonwealth games will enter Australia through other international ports. As stated the long-term development expects another 2 air bridges to be added ( most likely to the northern international concourse to provide premium facilities for future full service international carriers who no doubt have their sights on OOL.

  8. Mike says

    What sounds good at first is actually a complete joke. Cairns has 17 gates with 5 bridges in domestic and 10 gates with 6 bridges in international. Gold Coast is much busier than Cairns, by around 1,500 RPT movements per year and only gets 2 bridges??? Even Townsville has 4 bridges!

  9. Tony says

    @tyron
    Everything you say is logical BUT GC airport development plan says expansion to the south will be used for new international terminal and the existing international area will revert to domestic. This plan was published before the latest approval. This suggests the first 2 aerobridges will be international only.
    GC airport could avoid this confusion by publishing an up to date plan consistent with the federal government approval. They are obviously worried about the environment objections to the southern expansion.

  10. Adrian P says

    The information is on the Gold Coast Airport under Regulatory as Gold Coast Airport Project LIFT Major Development Plan