Foundation works on the southern terminal expansion at Australia’s Gold Coast Airport begin this week, representing the next step in the airport’s redevelopment.
The landmark project will double the footprint of the existing terminal, delivering aerobridges and additional retail space as well new departure lounge, baggage handling and border control facilities.
Future construction milestones will see completion of the ground floor slab in coming months, topping out of the building in mid-2020 and the opening of the terminal in mid-2021. When the southern terminal expansion is complete, work will begin on the existing terminal refurbishment.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills described the works as a major step forward for the expanding airport precinct. “This project will change the face of the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales and deliver a gateway that Australia’s leading tourism destination deserves,” he said. “Importantly, the project will address current capacity issues while paving the way for future passenger growth.
“There is about A$500m [US$346m] being invested in the airport precinct, including this redevelopment and the Rydges-branded airport hotel, which is now under construction,” he added. “From September, we will have three tower cranes on site. The level of development activity is unprecedented.”
Airport authorities are working closely with contractors Lendlease Building to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the airport during construction.
“Construction of a 30,000m2 [322,900ft2] expansion project within one of Australia’s fastest growing airports is no easy feat,” said Lendlease Building CEO Dale Connor. “It requires careful programming and stakeholder engagement to ensure minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.
“Together with the airport, we have developed innovative solutions to minimize disruption to passengers while maintaining construction progress,” he added. “For example, we will create a temporary baggage tug tunnel to maintain our baggage handling operation while the three-level building is constructed over the top.”
The southern terminal will house the airport’s international operations, with capacity to service domestic flights using a swing gate system, based on demand. Sustainable design has been a key consideration for the expansion, with environmentally-friendly initiatives including condensate harvesting from air-conditioners, energy-efficient light fittings and lighting energy management control systems.
The terminal expansion will be a major employment generator for the city over the next two years, delivering 1,500 jobs, with 250 workers on site at peak times.