Near the terminal
Marion Charlton the Chief Operations Officer for Gold Coast Airport addressed the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce at their July meeting and bought some statistics.
Gold Coast Airport is the 6th busiest domestic airport in Australia and for international traffic, the 5th busiest. There were 6.5m passengers last year and the international flights have increased with AirAsia now flying to Auckland.
The Gold Coast Airport brought in $645m with 2037 staff and contributes to the region $4.1billion. 67% of passengers are visitors, the other component are locals (Gold Coast-Tweed Shire) and of those locals 17% are from the Tweed.
A massive 70% of passengers are work related and two years ago 44% of flights were booked directly by passengers and last year it had gone up to 64%. 60% of passengers were travelling alone or with one other person and this is determining the eating settings within the airport. 37% of passengers are dropped off or picked up.
The biggest complaint last year were the cues lining up for bag drop and bag bookings and this year with the introduction of self serve baggage this has been resolved. They have helpers at the bag servers to keep the process moving which has helped everyone.
The facilities at the airport was a priority with clean and tidy amenities, security is a knife edge situation where being over the top becomes an annoyance and being too slack raises serious issues. One thing that has helped has been the removal of military uniforms at the security hand luggage check.
Currently there is not enough space available for international exit travellers and this area is being expanded.
The Commonwealth Games is a huge issue for the Gold Coast Airport and a temporary international airport terminal is being constructed including the long awaited wheeled air bridges.
One of the issues associated with these demands is that an external covered pathway outside the terminal is being constructed to house the cues living up to board their aircraft. At the moment it is congested with those cues in the terminal itself affecting flow and eating services.
Additional aircraft space is being provided fir the Commonwealth Games and their biggest day will be the day after the Games finish. Having served with the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics and the Scottish Commonwealth games, the let down after people leave is significant.
After the Commonwealth Games the projects to expand both the Domestic and International terminals will begin with the international section being 3 stories with views of the hinterland to the west. First and last impressions are very important Marion explained.
Light Rail to the airport is planned and the heavy rail is in the long term planning. There will be a water storage section and a treatment plant to clean the water from the fire foam nasties.
An airport hotel is planned at the international end of the airport with 192 rooms and its noted that there is a lot happening in a tight space. Gold Coast Airport is buying land surrounding the airport as a business strategy as major airport today gain 50% of their income stream from business surrounding the airports. Commercially viable business space is today a critical component of its long term strategy.
The ILS instillation has been approved ad work should commence by the end of July early August. But it is very doubtful it will be ready for the Commonwealth Games and everyone is hopeful for good weather. Heavy fog over the Gold Coast Airport is not unknown.
We live in Tweed Heads, and if my wife of 40 years Delma and I are an example of mission travel out-of and back-to the Gold Coast airport (we live 5 minutes away), many mission people like us will continue to utilise the benefits of the Gold Coast Airport.
There are a huge number of flights each year taken by Christian workers be they ministers, pastors, missionaries, young people in missions, benevolent ministries and the like, and these upcoming facilities will add to the convenience and service of such infrastructure.
Christians need to be prayerfully and politically mindful ensuring the retention of such freedoms of coming and going. There are those who hate us and want to destroy us for no other reason than being followers of Jesus. It might be time to remind us all of the report in The Australian how in Sydney an 8 year girl in September last year spoke to this very end.
At the terminal
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at