Gold Coast Airport Unveils 2024 Preliminary Draft Master Plan: A Vision for Sustainable Growth

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Gold Coast Airport has revealed its ambitious strategic vision for the next two decades in its recently released 2024 Preliminary Draft Master Plan. Owned by Queensland Airports Limited, it stands as the largest among the four airports under the company’s portfolio and ranks as the nation’s sixth busiest air hub. Currently catering to over 6 million passengers annually, the airport injects a significant $514 million into the local economy.

The Preliminary Draft Master Plan delineates a comprehensive roadmap for sustainable growth, particularly spotlighting the initial eight years leading up to the much-anticipated 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Forecasts predict a substantial surge in passenger numbers, with expectations set at around 13 million travelers annually by 2044, potentially generating over $965 million in economic contribution.

Central to the plan is the transformation of Gold Coast Airport into a destination in its own right, with a reimagined precinct poised to serve the communities of the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales. Key components of this metamorphosis include the construction of a light rail link to the terminal, an expanded hotel, and a sprawling retail zone.

^Gold Coast Airport Master Plan 2024 Precinct Aerial View (Image: GCA)
^Gold Coast Airport Master Plan 2024 Precinct Aerial View (Image: GCA)

The airport’s expansion plans not only cater to immediate needs but also align with the long-term vision for the Bilinga site, particularly in light of the impending 2032 Olympics. Among the slated developments are a heavy rail station integrated with the light rail, slated for delivery by the mid-2040s.

Outlined in the master plan are an array of enhancements aimed at creating a seamless and modern airport experience. These include a taxiway upgrade, terminal expansion, revamped terminal forecourt and arrivals experience, as well as infrastructure improvements such as the Gold Coast Airport Light Rail Station and relocated public bus stop facilities. Additionally, plans encompass the development of a multi-deck car park and transport hub, expansion of the airport hotel, creation of an ‘Airport Village’ featuring food and retail offerings, and expansion of Southern Cross University facilities. A travel center development, inclusive of electric vehicle charging stations, is also in the pipeline.

^The Gold Coast Airport Master Plan 2024 - Site Plan (Image: GCA)
^The Gold Coast Airport Master Plan 2024 – Site Plan (Image: GCA)

Technological innovation plays a pivotal role in the envisaged transformation, with the integration of smart aviation technologies such as biometrics-enabled check-in and a fully digital passenger experience. Other ntable future technology additions outlines involve These advancements aim to enhance efficiency and personalize the travel experience based on individual preferences and history.

“Over the 20-year span of this Master Plan, Gold Coast Airport’s passenger terminal will need to continue to expand in order to service the almost 13 million passengers forecast to pass through Gold Coast Airport in 2044.

The growth in passengers places demands on terminal facilities, such as security screening, departure lounges, boarding gates, arrivals halls, and associated queuing spaces.” the plan outlines.

Notably, the Master Plan underscores Gold Coast Airport’s commitment to sustainability, with targets set to achieve Net Zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030.

Per the requirements of the Airports Act 1996, Gold Coast Airport has meticulously prepared and published its Draft Master Plan, inclusive of the Environment Strategy, for public consultation. Stakeholders and community members are encouraged to provide feedback until June 14, 2024, with Information Sessions being held regularly (See below).

Community Information Sessions:
20 March – The Strand Shopping Centre / 12:15pm-2:00pm AEST
25 March – Currumbin RSL / 5:30pm-7:00pm AEST
26 March – The Pines Elanora Shopping Centre / 10:15am-12:00pm AEST
30 April – Tweed City Shopping Centre / 11:15am-1:00pm AEST
2 May – Tweed Heads Civic and Cultural Centre / 5:30pm-7:00pm AEST


A decision on the Master Plan is anticipated by December following review by the Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Transport.

Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented. The Australian Development Review does not own the rights to the information included within this article, and furthermore, there is no infringement intended from the included text and images within.

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