THE Australian Government has agreed to partly finance the transformation of the Sunshine Coast Airport into an international air passenger and freight hub, including a new runway and terminal upgrades.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said under an agreement with the Sunshine Coast Council, the Federal Government will provide a concessional loan to $181 million to help finance construction of a new runway and extensions of the airport's terminal and aircraft aprons.
"Upon completion, the airport will be able to accommodate aircraft as large as the Airbus A330 or Boeing 787, which opens the region to a broader range of international locations, including important growth markets in Southeast Asia," Mr Chester said.
"The agreement to provide the Sunshine Coast Council with a concessional loan for the works demonstrates the Turnbull Government's clear commitment to jobs and economic growth in regional economies, particularly those that will have a significant positive flow-on effect for the Australian economy as a whole.
"The Federal Government's decision to help finance the upgrade follows Sunshine Coast Airport's recent formal designation as an international airport—a move which provides opportunities to promote the region as a leisure and business destination for new overseas markets."
The Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project includes:
- A new 2,450 m long x 45 m wide runway aligned to the north- west/south-east (Runway 13/31);
- Two runway end taxiway loops and navigation aids;
- Expansion of the apron at the existing terminal;
- Staged expansion of the existing terminal; and
- A combined new Air Traffic Control tower and Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting station, access road and utilities.
With the new runway, aircraft movements are 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.
Photo: View over Sunshine Coast Airport / Sunshine Coast Airport.