Gold Coast Airport, or Coolangatta Airport, is an Australian domestic and international airport on the Gold Coast and is located some 100 kilometres south of Brisbane. The entrance to the airport is situated in the suburb of Bilinga on the Gold Coast. The runway itself straddles 5 suburbs of twin cities across the state border of Queensland and New South Wales. During summer these states are in two different time zones.
Gold Coast Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in Australia, and has handled during financial year 2006/2007 more than 3.7 million passengers. 352,554 visitors passed through the airport in January 2007, which represents an all-time high of passengers handled in a single month by Gold Coast Airport.
|Gold Coast Airport Statistics|
Until 1999, the airport was known as Coolangatta Airport. It originally consisted (1936) of three grass strips with the intention of only providing emergency landing ground for airmail aircraft transiting between Brisbane and Sydney. Finally, passenger flights took off for the first time in 1939, using the then grassy field of the current Coolangatta site. Regular services were started by Queensland Airlines and Butler Air Transport after the Second World War. Ansett started its own services in 1950 using DC-3s, while Trans Australia Airlines did the same in 1954 using DC-3s too as well as DC-4s and Convairs to link other Australian cities.
By 1958, the taxiways and runways were fully-paved, with the later being upgraded a decade later to allow jet operations with DC-9 and L-188 Electra aircraft to began. The current terminal, entitled Eric Robinson Building, was officially opened in 1981 by Acting Prime Minister Douglas Anthony, when at the time more than 650,000 passengers were using the airport. The following year, the main runway was lengthened to 2042m, thus permitting the use of wide-body jets by the two domestic operators Ansett Airlines and Trans Australia Airlines and their Boeing 767 and Airbus A300 respectively on flights from Melbourne and Sydney.
On January 1, 1988, the airport ownership was transferred from the government to the Federal Airports Corporation. Its full privatisation occurred a decade later, when it was taken over by QAL - Queensland Airport Limited on May 29, 1998. By 1999, the company's name had changed to become GCAL - Gold Coast Airport Limited. Despite the name change, Gold Coast Airport still carries IATA Airport Code, OOL.
In 1990, the airport welcomed its first international charter service from New Zealand, and by 1998, Air New Zealand low-cost subsidiary Freedom Air started scheduled no-frills service from Hamilton, New Zealand with Boeing 737s. In 2007, the airport celebrated the arrival of Air Asia X, which began services directly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. By January 2008, the route has proved so popular, that all flights up to the month of March were completely booked. Air Asia X has announced they may begin a daily service from later this year.
It is anticipated that a railway station will be constructed at the airport when the Gold Coast Line is extended. The recently opened Tugun Bypass provides a much faster road link to the Airport, with the bypass also featuring a tunnel under the runway.
The airport opened an extension to the main runway as well as a full length parallel taxiway in May 2007. The runway will be 2500m/8200ft long, allowing for heavier aircraft with greater range to take off. On 16 May 2007, the runway extension was officially inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon Mark Vaile MP.
Gold Coast Airport has appointed ADCO Constructions as the principal design and construct contractor for a $100 million redevelopment of the airport’s main terminal. Scheduled to start in early 2008, stage one of the project will double the size of the existing facility to almost 27,000 square metres, incorporating domestic and international operations with self service kiosks and 40 common user check-in desks. The works will accommodate forecast growth for the next 10 years with a further expansion, stage two, scheduled to kick in upon demand. The main terminal – incorporating T1 and T2 - currently houses operations for Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue, Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue and AirAsia X. Terminal 3 accommodates Tiger Airways Australia.
Tiger Airways Australia flights operate from a low cost terminal with basic amenities, located approximately 200 metres from the main terminal building. The building is loosely similar to Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport but on a much smaller scale.
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled (thousands)||% Change|
|Air New Zealand||Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton[To be suspended 29 March 2009], Wellington||2|
|AirAsia X||Kuala Lumpur||2|
| Qantas ||
| Qantas || ||2|
|Tiger Airways Australia||Adelaide [begins March 1], Melbourne||3|
|Virgin Blue|| Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney ||2|
AIF lands a 49% stake in the Gold Coast Airport.(Australian Infrastructure Fund)(Gold Coast Airport)(Brief Article)
Nov 11, 2004; Nov 11, 2004 (The Courier-Mail - ABIX via COMTEX) Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIF) has purchased a 47.1 per cent stake in the...