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Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project Takes Off

  • 20 Apr 2018

The first sod has today (Friday, 20 April) been turned on the construction of the new runway as part of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project.


Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson was joined by Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien MP, State Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson MP and representatives of the John Holland Group and Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd to mark the commencement of the construction program.


With work started, the new runway will be completed by Christmas 2020.


“Today is probably the most eagerly anticipated day so far in the history of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project,” Mayor Mark Jamieson said.


“After years of planning, this is a very special milestone day for the Sunshine Coast and our airport.


“We have turned the first sod on a project which will help to transform our economy and when completed, connect our healthy, smart, creative region to the rest of the world”.


Mayor Jamieson said the $303 million airport expansion was the Sunshine Coast Council's single largest construction project and would deliver a wealth of benefits to the region.


“Having this greater capability will unlock more tourism opportunities, new international trade prospects and will provide the springboard our export businesses need to get their products and services to markets faster and more efficiently,” Mayor Jamieson said.


“The new longer, wider runway will enable direct access to new markets in Asia, the Pacific and other locations in Australia which cannot currently be serviced with direct flights to and from the Sunshine Coast.


“The Airport Expansion Project is also forecast to contribute $4.1 billion to the Sunshine Coast economy through to 2040 and revolutionise access to and from one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.”


Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the Federal Government is in full support of the project.


“As part of the journey to get the airport expansion project underway, the Federal Government had to give the environmental tick of approval, designate the airport international status and provide a $181 million concessional loan - and I am pleased to have delivered on all three in the past 20 months,” Mr O’Brien said.


“As well as boosting tourism, a new international airport allows our best, niche produce companies to export to the world and in particular capitalise on our new free trade agreements with Japan, Korea and China.


“This is a truly exciting day for the Sunshine Coast and I’d like to congratulate council on its commitment to establish an international airport in our region – bring on Christmas 2020.”


The sod turning also represented the official handover of the runway site to construction contractors John Holland Group.


Executive General Manager Infrastructure Services Jim Salmon said it was great to be on site, and start work on Runway 13/31.


“Our team is mobilising and locals will start seeing more activity as our site starts taking shape,” Mr Salmon said.


“From here, things will really get moving.”


In the coming weeks, the initial activities associated with the dredging will get underway ahead of preparations to lay the foundations for the new runway.


From mid-year, a vessel from contractors Dredging International will dredge one million cubic meters of sand from the Spitfire Realignment Channel in Moreton Bay.


After making its way north, the sand will then be pumped from the vessel moored off Marcoola, onto the project site via a pipeline that will run underneath David Low Way.


Ahead of the start of dredging, the project team’s focus has been on protecting the land and sea environment, and ensuring community safety during the dredging works.


The project team will be speaking directly with local residents and stakeholders in the coming weeks to keep them informed of the timeline.


The Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project is being supported by loans from the Australian Government and the Queensland Treasury Corporation, which will be repaid from the proceeds that Council receives from its commercial partner, Palisade Investment Partners, in 2022.


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