The updated Master Plan for Coffs Harbour Airport was on council’s agenda this week.
The updated Master Plan for Coffs Harbour Airport was on council’s agenda this week.

The 20-year vision for Coffs Airport revealed

THE 20-year vision for Coffs Harbour Airport will soon go on public exhibition.

Coffs Harbour City councillors this week discussed the Airport Master Plan Update 2019, a 195-page key planning document outlining the council's expectations for the future management and operation of the airport and Enterprise Park.

The council is currently preparing a long-term lease of the airport to a private operator, with the support of independent expert advisor KPMG Australia, and stated the incoming lessee must meet the council's goals as outlined in the document.

An Expression of Interest process is yet to begin for the long-term lease of the airport.

Coffs Harbour Airport today

AROUND 397,000 passengers use the airport annually and this is expected to reach up to 616,000 by 2040 as the local population booms.

By 2036, the population of Coffs Harbour alone excluding neighbouring suburbs is projected to be 93,000.

Currently, four airlines cater to the Coffs Coast region - Qantas, Tiger Airways, Virgin, and Fly Corporate - which fly direct to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Coffs Airport has a two runway system. The main runway and apron has been widened over the years to cater for aircraft like the B737 and A320 series.

The northern precinct has been earmarked as the location for the Airport Enterprise Park development with several of the buildings having been demolished in recent months, including the Coffs Skydivers and Air Cadets buildings.

An aerial view of Coffs Harbour Airport.
An aerial view of Coffs Harbour Airport.

 

The potential for international flights

THE Master Plan focuses on ensuring the airport caters to medium-haul domestic flights, but does 'not preclude' the potential to cater to long-haul aircraft like the A330 series.

According to the plan the main runway could potentially allow for this assuming it would be extended and issues like pavement strength and taxiway shoulder width are addressed.

The development concept for the main runway outlines a potential overall runway length of 2,619m, which would be achieved with a 395m northern extension and 144m southern extension, and a potential overall runway width of 300m.

On previous occasions the council has discussed the great potential international flights could have on local agricultural export, as well as tourism.

 

A double-storey terminal?

STUDIES by the council has found the existing terminal may possibly be extended to both the north and south.

The original terminal design from the mid-1980s also allowed for the building footprint to be developed as a two-storey facility.

The reserve footprint for the terminal is around 11,000 square metres, which is about a 280 per cent increase on the current terminal footprint.

 

The Coffs Harbour Airport terminal.
The Coffs Harbour Airport terminal.

 

Increased parking

THE plan outlines the potential to extend the undercover security parking to 175 spaces.

The general car park may be extended up to 138 additional car spaces, bringing it to a total of 378 spaces overall.

The rental car park is assumed to not require any expansions as rental car operators will relocate to the Airport Enterprise Park.

 

The $24m Airport Enterprise Park

THE business park development, which was approved in 2017, consists of a subdivision of around 43ha of land which will be leased out in accordance with 'aviation-related and compatible commercial usages'.

The development is set to occur in stages, with early works currently underway and Construction Certificate approvals being sought for the Phase 1 works.

 

An artist's impression of the Coffs Harbour Airport Enterprise Park.
An artist's impression of the Coffs Harbour Airport Enterprise Park.


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