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A great way to fly
Friday, 09 September 2011
Plans for the local airport will bring more jobs, boost tourist numbers and reduce noise for local residents.
Sunshine Coast Council has committed $2.4 million in this current financial year and a further $2.4 million in the 2012/13 financial year to complete an environmental impact statement for the new east-west runway at Sunshine Coast Airport.
“The new $250 million runway, due for completion in 2020, will provide a significant boost to the economy of the Sunshine Coast,” a council spokesperson tells MPP. “Construction of the new runway and full upgrade of the airport’s facilities will create more than 5000 jobs, including 2900 post- construction jobs, while also supporting local businesses.
“The project will inject more than $1.6 billion into the state and national economy.”
The new runway will enable the latest generation of wide-bodied passenger aircraft to directly access destinations throughout Australia, the Pacific, the west coast of the US and the rapidly growing markets in India and China.
“The alignment of the new runway is east-west, unlike our existing north-south main runway,” the spokesperson adds. “When the new runway is fully operational it will essentially mean aircraft will be taking off and landing over cane fields or the ocean, so it is expected to have the added benefit of reducing aircraft noise over surrounding urban areas.”
The council has also committed $350,000 for the design of terminal modifications that will enable the airport to process trans-Tasman flights in the longer term, as well as enable more space for passengers to circulate throughout the terminal as passenger numbers grow.
Major Projects portfolio councillor Debbie Blumel says this project is an example of infrastructure investment that enhances the competitive advantage of the region as a tourist destination. “The construction of two new helipads at the north-western end of the airside area at a cost of $90,000 will significantly decrease the noise impact from helicopter operations associated with flight training at the airport,” she says. “This project is in response to community feedback from residents around the airport and is designed to relieve some of the noise impact, particularly for night-time operations by aircraft.”