Airport Virgin
Airport Virgin

Staggering amount of jobs for Qld after new runway opens

A JOBS boom is about to land in Brisbane, with the opening of the city's new parallel runway forecast to add tens of thousands of new jobs at the airport, in Brisbane and across Queensland.

The $1.3 billion engineering project is nearing completion and, combined with the airport's buffer zones and 24-hour opening hours will make Brisbane the most efficient and reliable gateway on Australia's east coast.

Billions of dollars of new hotels, tourism and industry have been committed to Brisbane as the opening nears, and will translate into 46,600 direct jobs and another 21,800 across the state, and an economic boost reaching $5.2 billion a year.

Future Aviation, a two-week series launching today in partnership with Brisbane Airport, Tourism & Events Queensland, Brisbane City Council and PwC, will highlight the opportunities of the new runway which opens in the middle of next year.

Chief executive officer Gert-Jan de Graaff said the extra capacity guaranteed by the new runway would lure more flights to more routes with new tourist and business travel opportunities.

Economic modelling by PWC shows the massive impact the airport has on industries from manufacturing to professional services and real estate, and the boost the state will receive from the extra capacity, flights and reliability.



Leading demographer Bernard Salt said airports had led the way creating jobs across Queensland.

Between 2011 and 2016, Brisbane airport created 11,300 jobs, more than the Brisbane CBD (6300) and South Brisbane (4800) combined.

A new runway means more flights, passengers and jobs growing far faster than the rest of the economy.

"Between the last two censuses, most job growth in any place in Queensland, was greatest in the airport precinct between 2011 and 2016," Mr Salt said.

"The airport is the greatest, most effective or productive generator of jobs.

"The precincts are actually the state's leading job generating areas.

"There is a whole aviation related precinct that engages all sorts of manufacturing, storage, warehousing, hotel accommodation, allied retail, servicing equipment.

"Facilities all congregate in that precinct.

"And so the argument is that this will be, along with the CBD, the major drivers of job growth across metropolitan Brisbane.

"And that is why you would want investment in the airport.

"The rate of growth in passenger numbers will exceed the rate of growth of the workforce generally in Brisbane and in Queensland.

"Passenger numbers will increase at a faster rate than will population growth and workforce growth, which means that the airport must be a major generator of jobs going forward, and not just the airport, but then there's also the related activity surrounding it."


Andrew Hart (captain), Monica Jove-Fernandez (guest services) and Andy Bauer (base manager) all work for Virgin Australia at Brisbane Airport. Picture: Adam Head
Andrew Hart (captain), Monica Jove-Fernandez (guest services) and Andy Bauer (base manager) all work for Virgin Australia at Brisbane Airport. Picture: Adam Head


Brisbane Airport chief executive Gert-Jan de Graaff said the extra capacity from opening the new runway meant Brisbane could pitch to more airlines to hook up flights.

Every million passengers roughly translates into 1000 airport jobs, Mr de Graaff said.

With passenger numbers doubling from 24 million to 50 million in the next 20 years, Mr de Graaff said number of direct employees would double from 24,000 to almost 50,000.

"When I say Brisbane Airport I immediately say Brisbane and southeast Queensland because there's not a single airline in the world that flies to a runway or flies to an airport," Mr de Graaff said.

"They fly to destinations and the destinations are Brisbane and southeast Queensland.

"With this new capacity, we will be able to further develop our network and that means to fly to new destinations.

"We will see an increase in flights, not only new destinations but also more flights to existing destinations.

"And that means that we are increasing choice and offer for passengers and at the back of those flights we will be able to accommodate higher volumes and freight volumes.

"It is also an opportunity to operate our runway system more efficiently.

"And that efficiency is related to the on-time performance.

"We will have sufficient capacity that if a few airlines are arriving at more or less the same time we can actually accommodate them on our two runways instead of them waiting for each other for that one runway.

"And last but not least, became because of this new runway, and we will be able to fly new flight paths and providing the community with a much more noise efficient operation of the airport.

"We're flying more flights over the bay, virtually all the flights during the night.

"But even during the day we were able to reduce the footprint of Brisbane Airport.

"And that's a tremendous win for the community.

"So it's more capacity wins new destinations, more choice, means more efficiency in terms of on time performance and it means more efficiency in terms of the noise consequence of the airport."