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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More terminals in 2033 Masterplan.

Brisbane Airport could have a new terminal for low-cost airlines, more public transport facilities and a passenger lounge for resource sector workers by 2033 if a new master plan wins approval.

The developments are contained in a draft 20-year strategy document the airport corporation is currently finalising with key stakeholders including state and local governments.

BAC CEO and managing director Julieanne Alroe said the new plan, required by law, provided a vital planning blueprint for the booming operation.

Ms Alroe said passenger numbers were forecast to grow from 21,500,000 in 2012 to around 48,700,000 in 2033/34, fuelled in part by growth in Queensland’s resources sector.

“This level of growth demands that we plan ahead to ensure appropriate and sustainable infrastructure and services, such as roads, terminals and technology are in place,” she said.

“We consider the Master Plan to be the most important planning document for the airport.”

And while the 2033 strategy builds on the 2009 Master Plan, Ms Alroe said there were some key new developments brought about by a boom in minerals not previously considered.

Those developments could include a stand-alone passenger lounge with gates for regional aircraft separate to the main terminal according to BAC Head of Airport Development Mark Willey.

Though customers such as fly-in/fly-out mining workers would be processed in the main terminal, Mr Willey said, they would be bussed out to the regional lounge for boarding.

He said the lounge could be delivered within one to five years after the plan’s approval by the federal government.

The facility would be matched by another new terminal north of the domestic building designed to cater to low-cost carriers.

“That would also the full service carriers like QANTAS and Virgin to grow into the main terminal,” Mr Willey said.

“It could be finished within five to 10 years.”

However operations expanded by extra gates and construction of a yet-to-be-funded parallel runway meant better transport access to the airport was also necessary Mr Willey said.

Though road access and parking facilities remain central to operations, the new strategy will have a strong emphasis on public transport.

Currently state bus services drop passengers off at the Skygate precinct, Airport South the mixed industry and business precinct at the Australia TradeCoast gateway, and the airport’s maintenance area, though a number of private shuttles operate from the main terminals.

“At the moment [bus services] are quite limited into the terminals,” Mr Willey said.

“We need to see a significant shift to public transport usage.”

To that end, the plan’s Ground Transport Strategy allows for the development of more bus and parking facilities near the Kedron Brook floodway, west of the International Terminal, currently used by waiting taxis.

There’s also a new “people mover system” to help ferry passengers between terminals and the new transport areas.

Mr Willey said the corporation would also be looking to work with the private operators of the AirTrain to expand existing operations.

The plan will be open for public comment from early next year before going to the Federal Government for approval in September 2014.

SOURCE Brisbane Times.