Brisbane Airport Development In Express Queue
Autralian Financial Review
Headline Airport Development In Express Queue
Date December 22nd, 2004
Brisbane Airport is bringing forward $1.1 billion of investment in terminals and other facilities, as traffic growth outstrips forecasts made as recently as March.
International arrivals are booming, and Qantas's low-cost airline, JetStar, has increased passenger numbers, rather than just taking passengers from its parent and from Virgin Blue.
Planning will begin early in the new year on a second runway, which had been expected to be completed in 2011 or 2012. But chief financial officer Tim Rothwell said it might be needed sooner if peak demand grew more than expected.
The airport was also bringing forward developments worth more than $400 million at the international and domestic terminals by about two years.
Traffic, which has averaged about 7 per cent annual growth over the past decade, was set to surge by more than 20 per cent for the year ending June 2005.
"The new international airline timetables look fairly strong at this stage and given the number of aircraft on order for the domestic airlines we wouldn't be surprised to see double-digit growth on both international and domestic in '05-'06," Mr Rothwell said.
Total passenger numbers had already exceeded 15 million this year for the first time, and unprecedented Christmas traffic was set to make December the airport's busiest month on record.
International traffic numbers were already two years ahead of an external forecast done for the airport in March, Mr Rothwell said.
A $250 million terminal expansion planned for three or four years away, including gates that would suit the new Airbus A-380 super-jumbo jets, was now planned to be finished in two years.
Changes to the domestic terminal, including an upper roadway to allow separate drop-off areas for arrivals and departures, had been brought forward by a similar time.
The airport also planned to spend a further $250 million on improvements to roads and carparks.
Some of the trends that had driven the domestic travel boom were also affecting international travel.
"The trans-Tasman market has for years been held back by very high airfares," Mr Rothwell said. "It is now returning to its natural level."
Brisbane Airport was also making major investments to develop land not needed for air services.
A 130-store Direct Factory Outlet was set for completion midway through next year, he said.