Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.
Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport. Warren Lynam

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

THE $319 million Sunshine Coast Airport expansion is rolling on, with plenty of boxes still to tick.

As ground surveys near completion, a quarterly update report delivered to councillors last week showed work done and painted a picture of the task ahead.

Twenty-seven State Government approvals need to be acquired as the project progresses, while a number of offset measures are also being carried out.

Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project director Ross Ullman explained some of those.

"We continue to work with relevant stakeholders to protect and preserve the cultural heritage and environmental aspects of the project site," he said.

"This involves the provision of meaningful offsets such as seed gathering and propagation, translocation of threatened species and establishment of vegetation communities such as wallum heath to replace habitat that has been impacted by the project."

Last week's report explained a recalculation of the amount of sand required for the new runway had also been carried out and it had been identified more sand may be needed to consolidate marine clays in the north-western end of the runway.

Measures to minimise additional sand requirement were being explored and Mr Ullman assured the permission to extract up to 1.1 million cubic metres from the Moreton Bay Spitfire Channel would be "sufficient to enable construction of the full extent of the embankment".

Dredging is set to start in 2018.

A $1.9 million contract for the design of the new 2450m long x 45m wide runway was recently awarded to Beca Consultants Pty Ltd and the quarterly update also pinpointed October 1, 2017, as the deadline for the transition of the airport to a standalone entity.

Mr Ullman said tenders for the runway construction first stage contract closed last month, and a short list of contractors to be invited to progress to the next stage had been finalised.

An announcement of a successful tenderer was expected by the end of the year.

Expected expenditure on the expansion project was $11.1 million for the 2016/17 financial year.