The NSW and Queensland governments have jointly tipped in $12 million to build a second entryway on the south side of Gold Coast Airport.
The facility is the closest major airport for a large number of people in NSW and, pre-pandemic, around 6.4 million passengers passed through every year, making it the country’s sixth busiest.
“We expect most passengers will use this road to access the airport precinct – whether they are coming from Queensland or NSW,” said Chris Mills, the CEO of owner Queensland Airports.
“But this project will also improve traffic flow around the precinct for Southern Cross University students and guests in the newly built Rydges hotel.”
As part of the deal, the Queensland government will commit $6.5 million and NSW the rest.
“The NSW government has already contributed funding for planning and expressed interest in that deal,” said Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey.
“My department has started discussions with their NSW counterparts and will work through the details as part of planning over the next 12 months.”
Last week, Australian Aviation reported that Chris Mills appeared to attack state governments for providing a “lack of clarity” on border closures, which have stopped passengers booking flights.
The chief executive also said the decision to shut off the state from NSW and the ACT led to an immediate reduction in flight schedules.
Safety and traffic flow in the Gold Coast Airport precinct will be improved in the longer term thanks to commitments from the @QldGov and @TransportforNSW for the design of a new airport entryway. It will benefit visitors from both states. Full story: https://t.co/9N7GhtyXwW pic.twitter.com/nTkbny9Kif
— Gold Coast Airport (@gcairport) August 18, 2020
“We understand the health concerns with community transmission in Victoria, and support the strong stance there,” said Mills. “But we were surprised about the ACT decision – it has been almost a month since a COVID-19 case was detected in the ACT.”
The closures appear to have hurt what was a small recovery for Gold Coast Airport – in July, passenger numbers leapt to 44,000 from just 5,390 in June, when restrictions were previously in place.