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Both Brisbane runways back in action after floodwater closure

written by Hannah Dowling | March 1, 2022

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8FE departs from Brisbane, at sunset. (Michael Marston)

Brisbane Airport’s second runway is once again operational, after being out of action for three days due to excessive floodwater covering the runway and its adjoining taxiways.

The airport confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon, and praised its staff for working to clear the runway and taxiways for use as quickly as possible.

Brisbane Airport Corporation was forced to divert all arriving and departing traffic to its new runway, 01L, on 26 February due to the ongoing flood crisis in Queensland, which was water begin to pool on the taxiways leading to its original runway.

It comes after 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.

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The airport stated earlier in the day on Tuesday that it is hoping to reopen the second runway by Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking with 4BC Radio Brisbane on Tuesday morning, Rachel Bronish from Brisbane Airport Corporation revealed that the airport was “nearly there” in its efforts to clear the runway and taxiways of excess water and is hoping to have both parallel runways back in operation by the afternoon.

“Our teams are working very hard to get rid of any remaining water at the moment,” she added.

Bronish explained that the taxiways connecting the terminals to the closed runway, Runway 01R, were the biggest concern in terms of flooding, as opposed to the runway itself.

However, she said the airport has already been able to reopen a number of those taxiways, with “just a couple to go” before the runway can be reopened.

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.

Bronish revealed that more staff have been able to make it to work on Tuesday, easing some of the congestion at the airport due to staffing shortages.

“Today, it’s a little bit better, we do have more staff that have been able to make their way into the airport today.”

However, Brisbane Airport is continuing to advice travellers to arrive at the airport with plenty of extra time before their flight, to account for longer queues at check-in and security.

“The recommendation for anyone who is due to fly today, just give yourself [plenty of time], throw in an extra 30 minutes to just to err on the side of caution,” Bronish said.

“Give yourself plenty of time, pack your patience and just be kind to everybody,” she said.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast Airport has officially reopened its doors after being temporarily closed on Monday due to flooding over its runways and taxiways.

The airport confirmed the news that it would close temporarily via Twitter on Monday morning after attempting to avoid the closure earlier in the day.

All flights to and from the airport on Monday were 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 showed rising floodwaters over the airport’s runways and taxiways.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Coast reduced its runway width by half to 150 metres due to standing water surrounding the runway.

Comment (1)

  • chris

    says:

    An excellent report! Just a very minor point, in regard to terminology, but it would be the strip width at Sunshine Coast being reduced by half to 150 metres. The actual width of the runway is 45 metres.

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