Sunshine Coast Airport preferred commercial partner announced
  • Friday 23 December 2016

Palisade Investment Partners has been announced as the preferred bidder to become the commercial partner in the operation of the Sunshine Coast Airport.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said confidential negotiations would continue over the next two months, after which time the council would make a final decision on whether to move forward to a final partnership agreement with Palisade or pursue other options available to the council.

The investment by the commercial partner, if final terms are agreed with council, will facilitate the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion which will include construction of a new runway, apron expansion and related infrastructure.

“Sunshine Coast Council has undertaken an extensive process which includes preliminary market testing conducted by Royal Bank of Canada followed by a call for Expressions of Interest, an invitation to chosen respondents to submit indicative bids and then an invitation to submit binding bids,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It is clear that Palisade has substantial experience in the airport sector through its investment in Airport Development Group which owns the Darwin, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek airports.

“The investment manager has also recently invested in Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2.”

Mayor Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion was one of the region’s game-changer projects identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033. “The Airport expansion project will have a transformational effect on business, employment and investment growth,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It will contribute $4.1 billion to the Sunshine Coast economy between 2020 and 2040 and result in 3500 fewer dwellings being affected by noise when it is operational by Christmas 2020.

“This expansion project will ensure we have an airport that can accommodate larger, more fuel efficient aircraft, enabling more direct flights to more locations in Australia, Asia and the Western Pacific.

“Those new routes will boost our tourism and international trade and help our export businesses, particularly those operating in the food and agri-business sectors, so they get their products and services to markets faster and more efficiently.”

The Federal Government last month (November 17) announced it would provide the Sunshine Coast Council a $181 million loan to assist with the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion.