An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
As one of the executive team tasked with securing a positive outlook for Brisbane Airport during the Global Financial Crisis of the 2000s, I speak from experience when I say this. The GFC’s dramatic impact on the global economy focussed BAC’s attention on the catalytic benefits of investing for future growth.
When I look at the social and economic challenges we face in the 2020s, in the shadow of the pandemic, the lessons learned from our response to the GFC feel even more valuable.
Our focus for the past ten years has been on securing Queensland’s aviation capacity needs for the next 50 years through the $1.1 investment in our new runway. With that now open and operational, we need to re-set our vision on the next phase of growth.
Queensland has proved itself as the place to be. With the perfect climate for work and play, a lower cost of living when compared to other major cities, and an unparalleled lifestyle, we are a state on the up.
Queensland is gaining more people from net interstate migration than any other state or territory, and this growth is set to continue, with South East Queensland’s (SEQ) population forecast to increase by 41.1 per cent by 2041.
As the airport and wider region continue to grow, we are now working towards ‘Future BNE’ - a thriving aeronautical hub and commercial destination with nearly 50,000 workers on site by the early 2040s.
And with Brisbane Airport ready to surpass 50 million annual passengers by 2045, our next decade must be about ensuring we have the right access to and from the airport, and the right facilities for passengers.
We have plans underway for a new terminal, perfectly positioned between our parallel runways. While we don’t know yet exactly what our airline customers will want, the terminal may well feature integrated international and domestic operations, and most certainly will deliver exciting retail and passenger experiences created through architecture that celebrates the sunny, tropical climate that is synonymous with Queensland.
It is absolutely imperative that we improve public transport access and integrate the Airport into the south-east corner transport network and we’ll be working closely with all levels of government to make this happen. We also see the development of a strategy for a mass transit system as integral to future growth and prosperity, and this means car parks working alongside high-speed rail, a bus interchange, and even emerging transport technologies like electrical take-off and landing (eVTOL).
This sort of long-term planning and investment is vital for our State’s future, and we stand ready to work with all governments, industry, and community partners to stimulate the economy, create employment, and drive growth and benefit across the state.
Our vision is to ‘Connect the world. Create the future’, and this reflects our obligation, as Queensland’s main international airport, is to build the growth capacity the people of Brisbane and Queensland need.
That’s why we’ll continue to invest in the airport and the opportunities it can bring for all of us.