RECORD PASSENGER MOVEMENTS AT GOLD COAST AIRPORT

RECORD PASSENGER MOVEMENTS AT GOLD COAST AIRPORT

A RECORD number of passengers moved through Queensland Airports Limited's (QAL) four ports in the 2016 calendar year.

More than 8.2 million passenger movements were recorded across Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports, up 5.3 per cent on the previous year.

Gold Coast Airport (GCA) recorded a 7.1 per cent growth in movements to 6.4 million, which was the highest growth across the group.

"We are very pleased with GCA's performance, in particular the growth of international passenger movements, which increased by nearly 20 per cent compared to 2015," says QAL CEO Chris Mills.

The airport's growth is due to an increase in capacity of existing routes and the introduction of new domestic and international services.

GCA welcomed a permanent Hong Kong to Gold Coast service by Hong Kong Airlines in January 2016, while AirAsiaX commenced daily Auckland services in March and increased its Kuala Lumpur route to 11 per week from July. Qantas added services to Melbourne in October 2015 which operated for the full year in 2016.

Works have commenced to increase the airport's capacity to meet future demand. GCA's Project LIFT includes the expansion of the terminal building and additional aircraft parking stands. The project will be completed in stages over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Townsville Airport was boosted by its second year of direct Bali flights.

"Townsville has also returned to growth after some lean years, and we have made provision for future growth in our planned terminal redevelopment," says Mills.

QAL will start work on the initial stage of the redevelopment, Project Alive, at Townsville this year. The development will provide faster and more efficient service for travellers, deliver additional retail choice and modernise the existing terminal facility.

Mount Isa and Longreach airports suffered declines in passenger movements due to challenging market conditions.

"Nevertheless, we are confident that this will change and continue to invest in these airports and each of the communities in which we operate," says Mills.

A new carpark is soon to officially

open at Mount Isa Airport, which will provide safer and more efficient access to the airport for visitors.

The airport is also installing 820 solar panels that are expected to offset more than 80 per cent of the airport's electricity usage during daylight hours.

At Longreach Airport, QAL has recently completed construction of a wildlife-proof fence around the flight strip in an effort to provide a more secure airside operating environment.

QAL is an Australian owned, Queensland based regional airport specialist group with a vision to engage customers, connect communities and provide exceptional experiences.

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