- Friday 05 August 2011
On Saturday 13 August, Sunshine Coast Airport will celebrate its 50th birthday and everyone’s invited to the party.
Thousands of locals and aviation buffs are expected to enjoy a rare treat. The main runway will be closed to all air traffic between 6.30am and 9.30am and open to visitors to ‘Walk the Runway’ – the first time this has been allowed in 50 years, and possibly the last.
Acting Mayor Tim Dwyer said that the airport plays a vital role in all our lives and the runway closure will be a fun way to celebrate while recognising the importance of the airport to the entire region.
Airport General Manager, Peter Pallot, said the event should be quite a spectacle.
"This is an unprecedented event to allow the public onto the runway providing people with access to areas normally only available to authorised airport staff," he said.
"It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see what the pilots see as they land."
The Sunshine Coast Airport was opened in August 1961, and was first officially known as the Maroochy Airport. The airport began as a muddy strip and a vision of things to come in the mind of then shire Chair, David Low.
Today the airport employs more than 600 people and contributes almost $500 million dollars to the region’s annual economy.
"The airport has grown with the Sunshine Coast and the celebration of its 50th year marks a significant milestone," Mr Pallot said.
"I look forward to opening up the airport to the local community, and sharing its history and this milestone in a morning of celebrations on Saturday 13 August. We encourage everyone to come on the day and be part of history.
Event media partners Hot 91.1FM and Sunshine Coast Daily will be running campaigns to promote the event and also run a competition to be drawn on the day. The fantastic prize has been offered by airline event partner Jetstar, and includes four return flights from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney including accommodation, transfers and activities.
Check the Sunshine Coast Airports website for more competition details.