Minister for infrastructure and transport Anthony Albanese has approved Gold Coast Airport’s 20 year “master plan", but warned it must improve communication with the local community.
The plan outlines major investment in aviation infrastructure at the airport over the next two decades to ensure it will be able to cope with an influx of visitors expected to arrive through the airport for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The airport has forecast that the improvements will create almost 2,500 full-time jobs, contribute almost $768 million to the economy, and bring in nearly 5.5 million visitors to the region.
But Albanese stressed his approval came with conditions.
“In approving the Master Plan, I have made it clear to the airport that it needs to communicate better with the local community in relation to aircraft noise and other issues,” he said.
“I expect to see genuine engagement with the community as Gold Coast Airport develops in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Albanese acknowledged community concerns about the environmental impact of the plans, insisting the airport must ensure “appropriate management” of species listed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
It is the first plan to be approved under new more stringent legislative requirements for airport planning.