About the project
The Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project (SCAEP) was delivered by Sunshine Coast Council. As the region continues to grow, our airport is expanding to meet the needs of the community and support the region’s economic growth.
In June 2020, construction of a new 2450m x 45m runway north-west/south-east runway was completed and officially handed over to the Sunshine Coast Airport for operation. It has an orientation of 128 degrees/308 degrees magnetic, giving the runway its 13/31 designation. It can be used by larger passenger aircraft, such as the Airbus A330 and Boeing 787.
The new runway allows direct flights to more destinations across Australia, Asia and the Western Pacific, enhancing national and global connections. It will also generate jobs and economic growth, boost tourism, help export businesses and secure air access to the Sunshine Coast for generations to come.
Construction of associated infrastructure as part of SCAEP, including an upgraded taxiway system and apron expansion, was completed in December 2020. Due to safety risks, the former runway (18/36) has been decommissioned.
The possibility of an upgraded runway had been flagged since the early 1980s. While the former runway 18/36, which opened in 1961 had been instrumental in the development of the local economy, its length and width (1,797m x 30m) limited the size of aircraft.
The alignment of the new runway was chosen to avoid topographical constraints including Mount Coolum and Mount Ninderry. The location of the runway within the site was influenced by the following factors:
- meeting aviation standards without the need for exemptions
- achieving the runway length required for target destinations in Asia and larger wide-bodied aircraft
- reducing the number of residents affected by aircraft noise
- avoiding poor ground conditions immediately east of the Sunshine Motorway at the north-west end of the runway.
Environmental Impact Statement
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the SCAEP project was concluded in July 2016, with the project being approved subject to conditions.
The Queensland State Coordinator-General’s report delivered on 19 May 2016 approved the EIS for the SCAEP and confirmed the project will deliver major economic and social benefits to the region. Any adverse environmental impacts were acceptably avoided, minimised, mitigated or offset.
The EIS is available on the Coordinator-General’s website.