Sunshine Coast Airport will start to see the benefits of a significant investment boost later this month with the installation of new equipment and technologies to facilitate international flights.
Once complete mid-year, the airport will be better placed to handle increased international traffic as it enjoys its fifth year of overseas commercial flights.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton visiting the airport today said the refurbishments would include an extensive close-circuit television network, electronic examination facilities and trace detection technologies to support the Government’s focus on stronger border security.
"A total of $23.8 million over four years was allocated in the 2015-16 Budget to support the clearance of seasonal flights at Sunshine Coast Airport and regular international flights at Townsville Airport," Mr Dutton said.
"This technology roll-out at the Sunshine Coast will account for more than $1 million of that funding.
"Currently, the range of technologies needed to support international flights is brought to the airport temporarily from Brisbane as required by international arrivals and departures.
"With this upgrade, Sunshine Coast Airport will no longer have to rely on the presence of mobile facilities to process flights."
LNP Candidate for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said the upgraded facilities would encourage more visitors to the Sunshine Coast boosting employment opportunities in the region.
"The Sunshine Coast may be the most beautiful place on earth, but that doesn’t count for much if it’s difficult for people to come and go," Mr O’Brien said.
"The more we enable the airport with smarter technology, the more we attract people and capital to the region and that all translates into local jobs."
Further improvements to the Coast’s international gate lounge will continue to be rolled out over the next three years.
"Next financial year departure eGates will be installed bringing the Sunshine Coast terminal in line with other major airports across Australia," Mr Dutton said.
"What this investment really highlights is the Government’s belief in the growth potential of the Sunshine Coast. The funding shows that we are working with local industry to provide an international airport facility that meets international aviation and security standards."