Australia’s Gold Coast Airport has welcomed the government’s approval of its 20-year master plan.
CEO, Paul Donovan, insists that the green light was crucial as Gold Coast Airport is currently Australia’s fastest growing gateway, meaning that its old master plan needed updating.
It handled more than five million passengers in 2011 to cement its status as the fifth busiest international airport in Australia and the sixth busiest gateway overall.
And with forecasts projecting that its annual throughput will rise to in excess of 16mppa by 2031, Donovan says that planning for the future now is essential.
“The approval of the master plan is important as it means the airport’s plan meets a rigid framework outlined by the government,” says Donovan.
“The master plan provides a guide to the development of airport facilities, infrastructure and land uses to meet the future requirements of the aviation industry and the community we serve for the next twenty years.
“It particularly focuses on the development required over the next five years.”
He notes: “Gold Coast Airport is a significant economic generator for the communities in the South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales regions, and also acts as a gateway to the region for domestic and international visitors as well as providing air access for the local community.
“We are committed to working with all our airline partners, the tourism industry and local business to develop the network of routes and services to and from Gold Coast Airport to service the South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales regions.”
Today, around 74% of passengers passing through Gold Coast Airport are visitors to the region, and by 2016/2017 it expects to facilitate 2.61 million tourist visitors (excluding locals) annually to the region who are expected to spend $2.17 billion in the local economy.
In the next twenty years this figure will increase to 5.47 million visitors expected to spend $4.53 billion in the local economy.
Donovan adds: “We will continue to work closely with and consult with our local community, taking a proactive approach to delivering world class aviation facilities with an integrated ground transport system that considers the road network, parking, public transport and pedestrian and cycling access to create a dynamic transport hub for the region.
“Consistent with our previous master plans, we will again maintain a commitment to preserving approximately 25% of the airport lease area for conservation through the Cobaki Environment Precinct.”
Specifically focusing on the airport’s development requirements over the next five years, the master plan includes proposals for a new entry road, an apron extension, and the installation of an instrument landing system.
In addition the airport is planning a new public car park and a new staff car park as well as the relocation of the landing threshold on one of its runways.
Meanwhile, over the next 10 years, the airport says it has plans for further terminal expansion as well.