Exclusive for executive travelers
Travelers flying into the Gold Coast airport will soon be treated to a new experience, complete with glass skybridges and dazzling sunset views, as the long-awaited international terminal expansion finally welcomes the first passengers from of September 8.
Ten years in the making and three under construction, the new $260 million terminal is part of a campus-wide rejuvenation project, one that doubles the capacity of the already occupied airport.
Domestic travelers will be the first to use the facility, ahead of arrivals from abroad beginning October 13.
Executive Traveler was invited to take a look and we’re happy to report that it’s a vast improvement over the old “terminal” which was tucked away at the north end of the house and housed little more than a duty free shop, cafe and agency of press.
Now divided into three levels, the striking new complex, dubbed the South Building, features six gates, four glass skybridges (the first at the airport), and an interior-view departure lounge, as well as new boarding facilities, baggage handling and border control. .
As a nod to its border location between New South Wales and Queensland, the baggage claim area features a line marking the division between the states. It is meant to be a popular photo stop.
Furnished in shades of green and bronze to echo its location inside, the departure lounge boasts an incredible view of the skyline, plus a wide mix of seating options, many of which have conveniently located power outlets.
Elsewhere, the airport takes its color cues from the coast with subtle blues and greens.
The towering 11-meter-high transit area is also home to an impressive feature wall of stained bubble gum, reflecting the rise and fall of the nearby inland mountain range. It is just one of several design features that reference the local area.
An upgrade of the existing terminal has also started, with a total of 18 new retail and food and beverage outlets in the domestic and international market by mid-2023.
Queensland Airports confirms that existing Qantas and Virgin Australia lounges will remain in place, catering to both international and domestic passengers. Given the absence of overseas flights for both Qantas and Virgin Australia, at least for now, that’s not too surprising.
“This is the centerpiece of a $500 million investment in our Gold Coast Airport precinct,” explains Queensland Airports Limited CEO Amelia Evans.
The first sign of the transformation project was the debut of the Rydges Gold Coast Airport Hotel in November 2020, located directly across from the new terminal.
“Since then, we’ve done a lot of work in the airport terminal, including our airside processing zone, which helps alleviate congestion when boarding the plane, and also in the transport interchange,” adds Evans.
“But this $260 million building is what will make a difference. To the city of Gold Coast, to the tourism industry, to our passengers, to our team.”
The new terminal will allow the Gold Coast airport to serve 19 aircraft at any one time.
While construction during the pandemic was not without its challenges, Evans says the finished product comes at just the right time, with the industry continuing to recover and the airport setting record passenger numbers, above pre-Covid levels, in the month of June.
Starting in October 2022, those traveling to the Gold Coast from New Zealand, Singapore and Japan will arrive via the terminal expansion.
The Gold Coast airport currently receives international flights with Scoot, Jetstar and Air New Zealand, while Virgin Australia will start its inaugural services to Bali from March 2023.
There are hopes that Air Asia X, once a regular fixture in pre-pandemic times, will also make a comeback.