Runway expansion needed to 'keep what we’ve got'

THE Sunshine Coast board of Regional Development Australia has endorsed the proposed new runway at Sunshine Coast Airport, saying it is essential if the region wants Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand to continue to land planes on the Coast.

RDA chairman Professor Max Standage said the current runway, which was only 1800m long and 30m wide, operated under special dispensation from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, enabling Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s to use it.

"Without this dispensation, these aeroplanes would no longer be able to fly into the Sunshine Coast," he said.

"A new runway will therefore ensure we can retain existing services as a minimum requirement.

"It is important that we support investment in large strategic projects for the Sunshine Coast to meet the region's infrastructure demands."

Prof Standage said a longer and wider runway would increase freight capacity, provide new export opportunities and create about 2230 new jobs by 2040.



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