Airport Key To Industry Turnaround
IMPROVEMENTS to the Gold Coast airport are imperative if the city is to be revived and developers given the confidence to invest, says veteran highrise builder Harry
He says a bigger and more sophisticated airport is a key to the Gold Coast real estate industry getting out of a terrible position.
"No one is building anything and few people are buying," he said.
The head of the Meriton group, which has built more than a dozen apartment towers on the Gold Coast, says he has seen firsthand the value of the airport to the city.
Mr Triguboff says since Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost carrier, started flying into the Gold Coast patronage at the 600 apartments he operates at Broadbeach and Southport has mushroomed. "The success of Scoot surely shows the potential benefits to the Gold Coast if we can attract more international flights," he said. "The city aspires to be an international tourism destination, but the airport lets it down. For many people, flying into the Gold Coast is like flying into an aviation backwater. The airport is too small, its passenger areas get overcrowded, and travellers have to walk across the tarmac to get to and from their planes there are no air bridges …
"There’s no instrument landing so if there’s fog or other negative weather factors, planes have to divert to Brisbane." Gold Coast Aiport boss Paul Donovan said the ILS instalment and the upgrade and expansion of the airport were in the pipeline. "We are working feverishly to get the ILS installed as soon as we can," he said. Late last year, Queensland Airports managing director Dennis Chant confirmed the airport expansion was in early planning stages. Mr Donovan said the airport was not at capacity but was under pressure during peak periods. Mr Triguboff says a $150 million airport upgrade, completed in 2010, was a commendable achievement.