Gold Coast Airport says the federal government has approved its 2017 Master Plan, which details improvements to the facility over the next 20 years to cater for the projected increase in passenger numbers.
The airport’s chief operating officer Marion Charlton said the Master Plan was focused on growth in new aviation infrastructure and commercial facilities over the next five years, such as the continued expansion of the terminal and additional aircraft parking stands, in addition to public transport links.
“Master planning for the airport has also taken into account the future introduction of heavy and light rail facilities,” Charlton said in a statement on Thursday.
“Whilst this is a medium to long term prospect, planning has occurred to ensure that future stations are highly accessible within the terminal precinct.”
Gold Coast Airport said the number of domestic and international passengers at the facility was expected to more than double from 6.7 million annually currently to 16.6 million by 2037.
The airport said the final approved Master Plan would be available for viewing on its website by September.
Projects currently underway at Gold Coast Airport include the installation of an Instrument Landing System (ILS) for aircraft landing from the north on Runway 14, which the airport has said previously was the direction about two-thirds of all flights land.
The ILS, which assists pilots on equipped aircraft with a precise radio navigation aid, would reduce the number of missed approaches, diversions and delays due to weather.
Gold Coast was the only airport among Australia’s top 12 busiest airports that currently did not have an ILS. The airport had the satellite based landing system Required Navigation Performance (RNP), as well as High Intensity Runway Edge Lighting (HIRL), installed in 2012.
The airport is also upgrading the southern end of the airfield, with three new Code E aircraft parking stands (for the likes of Boeing 777s, 787s and Airbus A330s and A350s) and two aerobridges, to be built.
The work was expected to be completed in time for what is likely to be a busy year in 2018, when Gold Coast hosts the Commonwealth Games. The event is expected to bring more than 117,000 visitors, 5,000 athletes, 2,000 officials and 2,700 media representative to the city.
Expansion of the apron and taxiway is also on the cards and due to be completed by 2021.
Gold Coast Airport is one of four airports owned by Queensland Airports Ltd alongside Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach.