Brisbane Airport’s New Runway Will Officially Open This July

Brisbane Airport finally has an opening date for its new runway – Sunday, 12 July 2020! The new runway will allow the capacity of the airport to seemingly double, and bring the airport into line with the capacity of Melbourne and Sydney.

Photo: Brisbane Airport
The vision of Brisbane’s second runway. Photo: Brisbane Airport

What are the details?

Forty years ago, when Brisbane Airport was in its initial stages of operation, plans were laid out for future expansion and land set aside. Part of this included an allocation for a ‘one day’ second runway.

That day is soon approaching.

The new runway had $1.3 billion AUD earmarked for the project however has come under by around $200 million. The runway will be 3,300 m (10,800 ft) long and be able to land widebody aircraft, unlike the current short second runway which is exclusively for smaller aircraft.

Brisbane Airport’s New Runway Will Officially Open This July
The new runway to the top of the photograph. The old smaller runway can be seen on the right and the existing main runway on the bottom. Photo: Brisbane Airport

The airport took eight years to build the new runway, as sand had to be piled onto the river delta in order to make the land stable.

“Today is a culmination of eight years of physical construction, many years before that in planning, and foresight from nearly half a century ago for one of the most exciting projects in Brisbane’s history,” spoke Brisbane Airport Chief Gert-Jan de Graaff.

“It’s surreal to think we are just months away from seeing the first aircraft land and depart on this infrastructure masterpiece.”

Which will be the first aircraft to take-off and/or land is still subject to debate, but will be announced shortly.

Brisbane Airport’s New Runway Will Officially Open This July
The new runway under construction. Photo: Brisbane Airport

What still needs to be done?

From here, the runway still needs to be painted in two coats of around 6,780 liters of paint, enough to paint a straight line 120km long from Brisbane to Hervey Bay. Then the runway will need to be marked, which will require more than a metric ton of glass beads to make the marking reflective and luminous at night.

What is quite cool is the line markings will actually be done by a little robot to perfectly ensure than the lines are accurate, using satellite and GPS technology.

The runway getting market for incoming aircraft. Photo: Brisbane Airport

After the line markings are complete, the airport will need to install lights, navigation aids and train the air traffic control staff in how to line up aircraft to land and depart from the runway.

The new runway is needed to develop the economy of the region and to better allow the new direct flights to Tokyo-Haneda, Japan and Chicago which begin in the next few weeks.

“The new runway is so much more than asphalt; it is an enabler for growth across all facets, with an estimated 7,800 new jobs created by 2035 and an additional five billion in annual economic benefit to the region.”

Before the airport opens, there will be two community days to welcome the new development, including an airport open day and a ‘run the runway’ 5km fun run. Those interested should visit the Brisbane Airport website.

What do you think of this news? Do you like the idea of the new runway? Let us know in the comments.