THE Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project is another step closer towards delivery, with the Queensland Government last week releasing the Coordinator General's report accepting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the $347 million project is expected to generate 1,500 more ongoing jobs by 2040, more than 80 construction jobs and an estimated $140 million-plus boost to regional economic activity during construction.
"This project opens up the region to more national and international destinations such as Singapore and Perth and has the potential to bring almost half a million more visitors a year to the coast by 2040," Dr Lynham said.
The expansion includes:
- A new 2450 metre long by 45 metre wide east-west runway, capable of servicing aircraft such as the Airbus A330, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777;
- Proposed changes to airspace and flight paths;
- Two end taxiway loops, navigational aids and expansion of the existing apron; and
- An air traffic control tower and aircraft rescue and fire-fighting services station.
Dr Lynham said conditions and recommendations set on the project would manage potential aircraft noise, protect flora and fauna habitat, and water quality, particularly in the sensitive Maroochy River and Mount Colum National Park.
The Minister added that with the new runway, aircraft movements were forecast to grow by 20 per cent to 38,270 by 2020 and a further 30 per cent to 53,480 by 2040, making Sunshine Coast Airport a similar size to Mackay and Newcastle airports.
"Modelling indicates that, by 2040, the realigned east-west runway could result in almost 5000 fewer dwellings affected by aircraft noise than if the north-south runway had been extended," he said.
"The conditions and recommendations also require the airport to effectively monitor and report aircraft noise, and address any possible increases, in consultation with residents. The airport has given commitments to do this."
The approval includes 88 conditions and 29 recommendations, drawn up after the Coordinator-General considered 2,227 submissions as well as the environmental impact statement (EIS) and additional EIS information.
The next stage for the project is Federal Government approvals from the Department of Environment, Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
More information is available from the Department of State Development website at <http://statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/sunshine-coast-airport-expansion.html>.
Photo: View over Sunshine Coast Airport / Sunshine Coast Airport.