Project LIFT to boost flyers' experience
Roasting in the summer sun or being soaked by a tropical downpour while getting on or off planes at Gold Coast airport will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a parting gift from retiring Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.
Mr Truss has, in one of his last acts in government, signed off on a $300 million redevelopment of Coolangatta airport.
Part of that redevelopment is the introduction of long-called-for airbridges connecting the terminals directly to arriving and departing aircraft.
The massive redevelopment will also see accommodation, shops, office space and conference facilities built within the airport precinct.
Stage One is due for completion late next year and will include two new wide-bodied aircraft stands and three-level terminal development, with four airbridges and improved ground transport.
"Gold Coast airport currently services around six million passengers per year, which is forecast to grow to 16.3 million passengers in 2031," Mr Truss said.
"The major redevelopment of the airport will almost double the size of the terminal, expand the apron to accommodate five additional aircraft stands and incorporate four new airbridges."
Subsequent stages are scheduled to be completed in late 2018 and late 2020 and include further enhancements to the existing terminal building and an additional three wide-bodied aircraft parking stands.
Airport chief operating officer Marion Charlton hoped the plan, dubbed Project LIFT, would make the facility the first choice for visitors and locals travelling to and from southeast Queensland and northern NSW.
"In January, Gold Coast airport welcomed over 600,000 passengers, our biggest month ever," she said.
"This fantastic result comes on the back of more than six million passengers in 2015, highlighting the urgent need to expand our terminal."
Published in Gold Coast Bulletin by Kathleen Skene; Saturday 13th February 2016