Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson and local councillor Jason Opray were among the first to get off the  flight from Auckland  launching the Coast as an international destination.
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson and local councillor Jason Opray were among the first to get off the flight from Auckland launching the Coast as an international destination.

Coast airport ready to lift the load from Brisbane, says Mayor

THE Sunshine Coast is the ideal alternative to a Brisbane Airport expansion, Mayor Mark Jamieson has told the State Government.

Mr Jamieson has told Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney an extra runway at Sunshine Coast Airport could provide the solution to Brisbane's backlog of flights.

Frustration has mounted among travellers as flights at Brisbane Airport are increasingly delayed, with planes left circling because of peak-hour flight traffic.

"The Sunshine Coast Airport is perfectly placed, priced and prepared -it's the obvious choice," Cr Jamieson said.

"Our airport is an hour from Brisbane, our runway could be delivered at a fraction of the cost, and most of our land is ready to build on now.

"Our new runway could take as little as five years to build - Brisbane is looking at at least eight years, the Environmental Impact Statement on the airport expansion is already well under way.

"In the short term, we could take Brisbane's overflow flights right now as its peak periods are the opposite of ours.

"The Sunshine Coast has a potential catchment area of 750,000 people, which would cover an area from Hervey Bay  to the north, Pine Rivers to the south and South Burnett to the west.

"More flights going to the Sunshine Coast would mean less traffic on the Bruce Highway - it's a win-win for transport in South East Queensland.

"The Sunshine Coast Airport has been voted major airport of the year two years in a row and it's just secured another season of Air New Zealand flights and Tiger returns just before Easter.

"Its pivotal role in our region can't be overstated - it's the gateway to our business and tourism industries - and a crucial part of the Sunshine Coast's future.

"The Sunshine Coast Airport is a great Queensland asset, and with the help of the state and federal governments it could become even more valuable to Australia's economy.

Cr Jamieson joined his Council of Mayors (SEQ) colleagues on a delegation to Canberra last year to argue the benefits of the extra runway.



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