Airport’s new runway moves one step closer
  • Wednesday 10 November 2010

Sunshine Coast Airport’s new east-west runway and associated infrastructure came one step closer today when Sunshine Coast Council’s Performance and Service Committee considered preliminary documents supporting the airport’s master plan implementation project.

These documents included a preliminary design, Initial Advice Statement (IAS) and Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act Referral (EPBC Referral).

The report, which outlined the opportunities and constraints around the airport’s Master Plan Implementation Project, will now be considered by the full council at next week’s Ordinary Meeting.

Major Projects portfolio chair Councillor Debbie Blumel said the documents would then be forwarded to various agencies with both the Queensland Government and Australian Government for consideration.

"While subject to the outcome of the EIS and funding, construction of the new runway could start by around 2014, with it being operational by 2020," Cr Blumel said.

Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said the documents signal the commencement of a lengthy approval process that includes the preparation and assessment of an Environmental Impact Statement.

"The Environment Impact Statement (EIS) process is likely to span up to three years and will include a robust public participation process," Peter Pallot said.

"The primary tasks over recent months had been to identify any environmental or operational constraints that might exist around the preliminary design, including methods for their management and mitigation," he said.

"The combination of constraints and mitigation are detailed in the advices to government and from there they set the terms of reference for what will be a very detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)."

"The environmental investigations had revealed a range of flora and fauna present at the airport site; however, this is no surprise given the airport’s location beside national park."

"Our task will be to carefully manage flora and fauna to minimise the impacts, the procedures and strategies for which will be fully explored during the EIS phase."