The former runway, Runway 18/36, at Sunshine Coast Airport first opened in 1961 and has been instrumental in the development of the Sunshine Coast economy over the past 55 years. As identified in the 2007 Sunshine Coast Airport Master Plan, runway 18/36, due to its length and width, 1,797m x 30m, constrained airline services available to Sunshine Coast residents and visitors, destinations and freight capacity.
A possible change of orientation for the airport’s main runway had been discussed since the early 1980s. In adopting the 2007 Sunshine Coast Airport Master Plan, Sunshine Coast Council determined that the preferred option for the future of Sunshine Coast Airport was to develop a new, fully compliant main runway of 2,450m x 45m, aligned in a south-east and north-west direction.
In 2012 the State and Commonwealth governments issued the terms of reference for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with respect to the project.The EIS process was concluded in July 2016 with the project being approved subject to conditions.
The new Runway 13/31 was completed and became operational on 14 June 2020, however, construction of associated facilities will continue throughout 2020.
The project enables 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.