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QLD flood crisis: Gold Coast Airport closes, Brisbane shuts one runway

written by Hannah Dowling | February 28, 2022

An aerial look at Brisbane Airport's domestic and international terminals. (Brisbane Airport)
An aerial look at Brisbane Airport’s domestic and international terminals. (Brisbane Airport)

Update: Tuesday 1 March.

Gold Coast Airport has officially reopened as of Tuesday morning, with additional flights scheduled to accomodate for yesterday’s cancellations.

Brisbane Airport also confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that it has resumed operations across both its runways.

Passengers at Brisbane Airport should continue to expect delays while moving through the airport, again due to staff shortages, however the airport’s staff are working to quickly clear the rest of that water on its runways and taxiways.

The airport currently only has one of its parallel runways in operation due to floodwater.

Meanwhile, the flooding crisis also continues to worsen south of the border, with Lismore Airport now largely underwater.

At least one aircraft has been destroyed by floodwaters at Lismore, while dramatic photos of the airport currently show all the airport’s hangars almost entirely submerged.

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Murwillumbah Airport is also heavily flooded, with damage reported to planes and infrastructure.

Monday 28 February:

Gold Coast Airport has been temporarily closed due to severe weather and flooding over its runways and taxiways, as the flood crisis continues in south-east Queensland.

The airport confirmed the news via Twitter on Monday morning after attempting to avoid the closure earlier in the day.

All flights to and from the airport have now been cancelled, with passengers advised to contact the relevant airline or travel agent for re-accommodation options.

Video footage taken by Twitter user Paul Glover (@paul_glover21) from inside the terminal on Monday morning shows rising floodwaters over the airport’s runways and taxiways.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Coast has reduced its runway width by half to 150 metres due to standing water surrounding the runway, while Brisbane Airport has closed one of its two runways, along with multiple taxiways, due to these being largely under water.

Brisbane was able to remain open throughout the weekend, despite flood waters covering parts of the runways and taxiways, however, poor weather conditions have seen many flights to and from the airport delayed or cancelled.

However, passengers at Brisbane Airport on Monday have faced long queues, flight delays and staff shortages, due to the floods.

Many passengers also reported difficulty travelling to and from the airport on Sunday, with main airport roads being closed. These roads have since reopened on Monday.

Brisbane Airport has taken to Twitter on Monday to warn passengers to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to their flight and to expect delays while transiting through the airport, as flooding throughout the region has also left workers stranded at home, resulting in staff shortages at the airport.

It comes as the flood crisis claimed another life on Monday, bringing the current death toll to eight, while thousands of residents have been displaced from their homes.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday that 1,544 had taken refuge in evacuation centres around the state, while 1,000 schools have closed down, and more than 18,000 homes have been impacted by rising floodwaters.

Elsewhere in the aviation industry, three RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopters have been working nonstop over the weekend to provide emergency aerial support throughout south-east Queensland.

According to LifeFlight, eight missions were completed on Sunday morning alone, with its Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba aircraft all undertaking rescue missions to airlift patients cut off by flooding, who are in urgent need of medical attention or hospitalisation.

Meanwhile, Google’s drone unit Wing has confirmed to Australian Aviation that its delivery drone operations have halted due to current severe weather conditions in Logan.

“Although we can, and do operate in the rain, a combination of low visibility and very high winds prohibited us from flying,” a spokesperson for Wing said.

“We’re hoping as weather conditions ease this week, we can be back up and flying to help deliver goods and household essentials to many of our customers in Logan who have been isolated by floodwaters.”

While rain has now largely stopped across the south-east, authorities are warning residents that floodwaters could continue to rise overnight, before an improvement is seen.

Comment (1)

  • Kon

    says:

    Queensland-a political disaster one day, an environmental catastrophe the next.

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