Brisbane Airport has proposed adding a new third terminal to meet forecasts of huge growth in travel demand.
According to Stephen Beckett, the airport’s head of public affairs, space is already tight with the current two terminals and with travel bans due to the lifting of the pandemic and the upcoming 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, demand will only increase further.
The BAC estimates that passenger numbers at the airport will be around 50 million by 2040.
“We really need this extra capacity to ensure Queenslanders and people visiting Queensland can get to where they want to go,” he said.
“We know that the number of people using Brisbane Airport will more than double by 2040.”
Currently, the airport has proposed to build the new terminal between the two existing runways.
“Together with our airline partners, we are looking for the best location for the new terminal,” said CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff.
“We believe it will be between the two outliers because it’s the perfect place to minimize aircraft taxiing and it’s close to our current domestic terminal.”
de Graaff also said the third terminal would potentially be used for both domestic and international flights, making its location between the runways ideal.
“Some of our domestic airlines will probably board in Terminal Three,” he said.
“We could even allocate some of the international traffic there to provide better connectivity between domestic and international flights.”
While the addition of a third terminal would increase the airport’s capacity and strengthen the state’s travel industry, concerns have been raised about noise pollution.
Brisbane faced a similar scenario when it opened its new parallel runway in July 2020. Locals were quick to complain of increased noise as a result of a number of new flight routes.
Marcus Foth, acting chair of the Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance, said the new terminal would result in additional flights which would make noise pollution worse.
“I think the new terminal is part of the very aggressive growth strategy that the airport is pursuing,” Foth said.
“We know they have already started to recover to pre-COVID numbers [of flights]and it is causing a very adverse effect of excessive noise pollution in some 169 Brisbane suburbs.”
In response to the concerns, Beckett said the airport had worked with Air Services Australia to design flight paths to mitigate this.
“We work with them to ensure we have as little impact on the environment and community as possible,” he said.
When the parallel runway opened in 2020, BAC sought to increase flights across the bay, despite a Green Party push to introduce a curfew and hourly caps that the company says is costing the local economy $1 billion annually would.