Brisbane airport starts on new master plan

Singapore
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Brisbane airport has commenced work on a new master plan that is expected to be lodged with the Australian government next year.

The airport's managing director Julieanne Alroe says that the new master plan will take into account higher forecast growth than was anticipated in its 2009 master plan.

Forecasts show that passenger numbers are expected to rise from 21.5 million in 2012 to about 48.7 million in 2033/34, taking into account the substantial growth in the resource sector, which was not considered in the previous master plan, Alroe says.

"This level of growth demands that we plan ahead to ensure appropriate and sustainable infrastructure and services, such as roads, terminals and technology are in place," she adds.

The airport says that a key part of the master plan is the new parallel runway (NPR), which is planned to open in 2020 and will help to alleviate congestion at the airport that has caused major delays for most carriers operating there.

The NPR project has been controversial, with a number of airline opposing to plans by the airport to raise charges progressively over the next five years to help finance the runway before it opens for use.

Nevertheless, the airport recently reached a new charging agreement with Virgin Australia, which it says helps to finance the NPR project.

The airport says that it expects that the new master plan will be available for public comment from mid-2014, and will be submitted to the government in September that year. The master plan is expected to be approved by the end of 2014 by the country's transport minister.