With the tourism and aviation industries rebuilding from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the terminal expansion at the Gold Coast Airport is expected to be complete in 2022 as many Australians plan holidays as lockdowns and hard borders are eased.
The modern three-level 30,000-square-metre expansion will double the floor size of the existing terminal and includes four glass aerobridges, additional retail space and a large departure lounge.
Exterior work is nearly finished, and efforts are now on fitting out key internal areas and completing infrastructure to support the aerobridges, which will be installed later this year.
Queensland Airports Limited chief executive officer Chris Mills said the project was a “game changer” for Gold Coast Airport and would set the business up for the future.
He said: “The terminal expansion will connect seamlessly with the existing terminal, via a system that swings between domestic and international passenger arrivals and departures.
Mills added the Gold Coast and northern NSW would be high on the list of must-see destinations for domestic and international travellers, as borders re-opened and confidence in travel returned.
He said: “The airport needs to be ready to accommodate the growth in demand for our region, as travel ramps back up next year.
“Once we get clarity on the reopening plans for Queensland, we can plan with confidence for the recovery in travel.”
The terminal’s design reflects its surrounding environment, with the relaxed nature of the region inspiring the timber decking and open structure of the forecourt and plaza area.
Work on the project will have created about 2,000 jobs across three years on completion, with up to 200 workers on-site during peak construction times.
According to Mills, the terminal expansion is central to the ongoing development of the Gold Coast precinct, with about $500 million worth of work recently delivered, underway or in the pipeline.
Federal Minister for Home Affairs and Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said the Morrison Government was committed to getting Australians moving once more – both domestically and internationally – in line with Australia’s National Plan.
She said: “Before the pandemic, the Australian Border Force facilitated more than one million international passenger movements a year through the Gold Coast Airport – that’s why the Morrison Government has supported the terminal expansion with a contribution of more than $8 million.
“This joins the more than $5 billion we have already provided the aviation sector during the pandemic, including a further $183 million recently announced to help maintain Australia’s international aviation capability.
“This support has been vital; it’s maintained our airlines and airports through tough times.”