Brisbane Airport celebrates record 20 millionth passenger

Brisbane Airport will today celebrate a record first of 20 million passengers to fly through the airport in one year.

Acting Premier Paul Lucas will be there to congratulate and welcome the 20 millionth passenger as he or she arrives in the recently opened new Domestic Terminal Common User Satellite.

Mr Lucas said the record passenger numbers were very encouraging especially considering the widespread flooding that devastated Brisbane and Ipswich earlier this year.

“Brisbane Airport is the gateway to Queensland and this passenger record is an indication of the strength and resilience of our state’s tourism and business industries following the January floods,” Acting Premier Lucas said.

“This record also signifies that Brisbane Airport is a critical piece of infrastructure to Queensland, facilitating millions of passengers each year.

“Investment in expansions of roads, terminals and the runway system will be crucial to facilitating passenger growth, and resultant growth in our State’s key economic areas such as tourism.

“The State Government has also committed to major infrastructure upgrades such as the $4.8 billion Airport Link, and the $2.5 billion Gateway Upgrade Project, which will help to support the growth of Brisbane Airport as Queensland’s gateway airport.

“All of this work is also supporting jobs for Queenslanders in the building and construction industry. The Airport Link project alone has directly and in-directly employed more than 14,000 since construction began in November 2008,” he said.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, Julieanne Alroe, said the passenger record followed the recent opening of the Common User Satellite upgrade, with further upgrades to the car park and road system at the Domestic Terminal to be gradually opened over the next eight months.

“The Domestic Terminal alone has processed approximately 15.5 million passengers this year, which is on par with the amount of passengers that travel through a terminal at Heathrow Airport. Brisbane Airport is no longer the small city airport which first opened in 1988, processing 740,000 passengers a year. These upgrades to the Domestic Terminal will ensure Brisbane Airport has the capacity to meet the passenger growth expected over the coming years, helping to facilitate the simultaneous growth of our city and state,” Ms Alroe said.

“Both Virgin and Qantas are also completing upgrades to their own sections of the terminal, and with a combined effort I believe we will be well-prepared to meet the demands of this future passenger growth. With 33 million domestic annual passengers forecast for 2029, it is necessary to expand in order to cater for demand,” she said.

The recently opened expansion to the Common User Satellite (mainly used by Jetstar, Tiger Airways, Strategic and regional airlines) has seen: an increase in the number of passenger gate lounges in this area from two to seven; two additional aircraft parking bays, bringing the total to seven; new food and beverage facilities close to the new passenger lounges; new modern and comfortable furniture in waiting areas; improved energy efficiency of the satellite building, and space for airline offices.

The next stages of the Domestic Terminal Upgrade will see a new multi-level car park open, upgrades to the Domestic Terminal road network, and an elevated walkway built over the roads, enabling people to walk from the roads and car parks to the terminal without having to cross in front of vehicles.

Ms Alroe said BAC is building a new nine-level, 5,300 bay multi-level car park, which will open in two stages over the coming months. Together with the existing multi-level car park, the new car park will bring the total number of bays at the Domestic Terminal to over 9,000.

“We want to make parking at the Domestic Terminal easier so the car park will be fitted with the latest smart parking technology, making it easy to find the closest available parking space and will feature fast access ramps to upper levels and connections to the existing car park,” she said.

The Domestic Terminal Access Project – an undercover elevated walkway that will connect from the new car park to the terminal face will also open later this year.

The elevated walkway will pass over the new road system and will include lifts, travelators and escalators to take patrons to ground immediately outside the Domestic Terminal. The walkway will also provide better pedestrian access to Airtrain.

“The beauty of the elevated walkway design is that it will separate pedestrians from cars creating a safer passage for passengers, while also reducing traffic congestion on the terminal road system,” Ms Alroe said.