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Sunshine Coast Airport

Sunshine Coast Airport’s significance to the region has been recognised by the declaration of the airport as a Priority Development Area under the Economic Development Act 2012.

Background

The Sunshine Coast Airport is a key domestic and international gateway to the region and is critical in providing essential services to facilitate social and economic growth for the residents and businesses of the Sunshine Coast.

The airport is centrally located in the Sunshine Coast region and conveniently located within 10 kilometres of the Maroochydore City Centre with easy access to the Sunshine Motorway opening up both hinterland and coastal destinations.

The airport is embarking on a phase of significant growth and development over the coming years, which will enable the realisation of key strategic outcomes including:

  • increasing commercial aviation to further support tourism and business travel, particularly in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games
  • investment in the delivery of an expanded aerospace precinct to improve infrastructure to better position the region's general aviation sector for growth and development
  • promoting and facilitating the region's food and agribusiness industry through access to interstate and international import and export markets
  • building resilience and diversification in the airport business to secure new revenue streams, by developing activities that are complimentary to the functions of the airport.

History of Sunshine Coast Airport

The airport was officially opened in 1961 under the name Maroochy Airport. View a timeline of the key events (PNG, 616.8KB) to date at the airport.

Ownership status

The airport is owned by Sunshine Coast Council and is managed and operated by Sunshine Coast Airport Pty Ltd (SCA) under a 99-year lease agreement which commenced in December 2017.

Under the airport's lease arrangement, SCA prepared the Sunshine Coast Master Plan 2040, which provides SCA’s roadmap for realising the potential for the airport. The master plan does not provide for any statutory use rights but sets the direction for the long-term planning for the airport.

Declaration of the Priority Development Area

Sunshine Coast Council at its Special Meeting on 8 November 2021 agreed to support a request to the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) for the airport to be declared as a priority development area (PDA) under section 37(1) of the Economic Development Act 2012.

The Sunshine Coast Airport Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared on 28 July 2023 and Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) is now the planning authority and the development assessment manager for the PDA.  

EDQ has produced an Interim Land Use Plan (ILUP), which provides the basis for the assessment of development applications lodged after the date of the PDA’s declaration (28 July 2023). Development applications lodged prior to the declaration date will continue to be assessed and decided by Council.  

The ILUP will remain in place for 12 months until the Sunshine Coast Airport PDA Development Scheme is prepared and adopted by MEDQ. The community will be consulted during the preparation of the development scheme through a statutory public notification period.

Further information about the PDA can be obtained from Economic Development Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project

The Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project included construction of the existing north-west/south-east runway, which commenced construction in March 2019 and was completed in June 2020.

This runway is longer and wider than the previous runway and is now compliant with regulatory standards. It includes:

  • a 2450m long by 45m wide north-west/south-east runway, capable of servicing aircraft such as the A350 and B787
  • a parallel taxiway (half length)
  • changes to airspace and flight paths
  • an expansion of the apron at the existing terminal.