- Friday 28 October 2016
Sunshine Coast Airport has been officially designated as Australia’s newest international airport.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester announced the designation this morning, marking another significant achievement for the airport in what has been an outstanding year.
The designation means the annual approvals for Trans-Tasman services between Auckland and Sunshine Coast Airport are no longer needed and border agency resourcing for these flights are assured.
Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the announcement, saying it was an important alignment of plans for the development of the airport, and a win for international visitation to the region.
“Having Sunshine Coast Airport formally designated as Australia’s newest international airport further recognises the importance of giving international tourists direct access into regional Australia,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This is great news for our region and completes the next step in our transition towards delivering a wider array of destinations in the future.
“The direct Air New Zealand flights between Auckland and Sunshine Coast have now been operating for five years and have injected more than $150 million in economic benefit to the region and helped lift the profile of our region in New Zealand and ports beyond.
“Once the new runway is operational in 2020 the opportunities to attract new freight and additional passenger services from other destinations will bring substantial benefits to our region.”
Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said the designation was a key milestone for the airport.
“For the last five years, our international services have been approved on a season-by-season basis adding a layer of regulatory complexity and uncertainty to what has otherwise been a very successful partnership between the airport, airline and tourism bodies,” Mr Pallot said.
“We are delighted that this complexity is now a thing of the past and we can focus on attracting future international services.”
An outstanding year for Sunshine Coast Airport:
- Record passenger numbers of 964,362 achieved in the 2015/2016 financial year
- A 13% increase year on year and the highest recorded passenger numbers for a 12 month period
- Introduction of Qantas services between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast in December 2015
- Introduction of Jetstar flight services to Adelaide in September 2016
- 65,000 extra seats on Sunshine Coast services from Sydney and Melbourne for the upcoming summer period
- Announcement of Qantas service between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast for the peak summer holiday period from December 2016
- Australia’s fastest growing airport since July 2015