Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) has re-opened the cross-runway after a five-month closure to allow enabling works on the new parallel runway.
BAC CEO Julieanne Alroe said: “The cross-runway is a shorter, narrower runway which means its use is limited to smaller aircraft typically used on regional routes, as well as the Royal Flying Doctors Service. In the right conditions, up to five arriving flights an hour can potentially be put on this runway, freeing up capacity on the main runway for larger aircraft.”
Alroe said extreme weather during the closure had prevented earlier re-opening, but that “every available resource had been engaged to make up for lost time”.
BAC has come in for strong criticism for the proposed funding arrangements of the parallel runway, with airlines objecting to both the proposed increase in aeronautical charges to pay for the runway and the duration of the increases.
Caroline Wilkie of the Australian Airports Association said: “Normally airports and airlines negotiate their pricing arrangements on a five-year basis. With Brisbane Airport’s new runway, because the project will take eight years, it must be negotiated over a longer period.
“This funding model proposes users contribute 25 per cent of the construction costs via landing fees as the runway is being built over an eight-year period.
“It is not unreasonable to expect users to share one quarter of the risk on a project of this magnitude, which will deliver airlines and their passengers such significant benefits on a national scale,” Wilkie said.