The Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast committee has supported the proposed new runway development at Sunshine Coast Airport, saying the project is essential if the region wants Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand continue to land jet planes here.
“The current runway, which is only 1800m long and 30m wide, operates under special dispensation from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority which allows larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 to land here,” RDA Sunshine Coast Chair Prof Max Standage said.
“Without this dispensation these aeroplanes would no longer be able to fly into the Sunshine Coast. A new runway will therefore ensure we can retain existing services as a minimum requirement.”
Prof Standage said a new airport runway was one of the most significant infrastructure investment opportunities identified in the Sunshine Coast Regional Roadmap following extensive community consultation last year.
“It is important that we support investment in large strategic projects for the Sunshine Coast to meet the region’s infrastructure demands. Regional infrastructure and investment opportunities are paramount to the region’s long-term economic success.”
Prof Standage said the benefits of a new runway had been well recognised across all major strategic planning documents for some time, due to the economic advantages they would bring.
“A new longer and wider runway will also increase freight capacity, provide new export opportunities and create up around 2230 new jobs by 2040.”
Prof Standage encouraged the community to contribute to the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed new runway at Sunshine Coast Airport.