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Gold Coast jets into a new era after $500m terminal overhaul


The first international passengers touched down this morning at the Gold Coast’s shiny new world-class airport terminal, marking the final stage of the $500 million overhaul of the airport precinct and a milestone in Queensland’s tourism recovery.

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The Scoot flight with more than 320 passengers from Singapore arrived at 6.25am, while the first international flight out also took off from Coolangatta to New Zealand.

The three-year upgrade that cost $260 million for the terminal alone has doubled the size of the Gold Coast terminal’s footprint and transformed it from a tin shed busting at the seams.

The airport that sits on the Queensland and NSW border is now the second biggest airport in both states.

It is also a terminal that matches the Gold Coast’s global reputation as a holiday destination and provides capacity for escalating arrival numbers to the city from both holiday makers and domestic and international migrants moving to the region.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Amelia Evans said the upgraded airport, that opened to domestic passengers in September, would cater for up to 10 million passengers a year within 10 years.

“Passenger numbers at Gold Coast Airport continue to rebuild with strength, with more than half a million passengers moved through the terminal during the month of October, and aircraft in and out of the Gold Coast at 90 per cent passenger capacity,” Evans said.

“We will continue to focus on driving growth in passenger numbers, working closely with airline, government, and destination partners to secure extra capacity, new carriers and new international flight and domestic connections.”

From three grass strips created in 1936 as an emergency landing ground for airmail aircraft, the airport now welcomes more than 6.5 million passengers each year. The terminal was originally built in 1981.

Evans said the new terminal reflected the Gold Coast’s status as a global destination.

“The Gold Coast and northern NSW region is now ranked one of Australia’s leading holiday destinations for both overseas and domestic tourists. It really sets the tone of who we are and what we’re able to do to cater for the growth,” she said.

After three years of construction, the terminal expansion has transformed the arrival experience for passengers to the nation’s favourite holiday destination.

The new 30,000 square metre terminal extends over three levels, has six new gates and is capable of catering to an additional 19 large aircraft.

There are also new border control facilities, four glass aerobridges, seven escalators and nine lifts, a departure lounge, and a new baggage handling area servicing arrivals from New Zealand, Singapore and Japan.

Evans said as well as international flights to and from Singapore and New Zealand, the airport would welcome direct flights from Bali from March.

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