Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills has welcomed news of the likely light rail alignment along the Gold Coast Highway, which would benefit visitors to the city traveling through Gold Coast Airport, as well as residents.
“We have long advocated for the light rail to the airport and our preference has been for it to follow the Gold Coast Highway. We are pleased to hear that is the direction that has been recommended by this study,” he said.
“About 6.5 million people come through Gold Coast Airport each year and the vast percentage are leisure travellers, so we need an efficient and easy public transport linkage that accommodates visitors to the city and local residents well into the future.”
Mr Mills said light rail linkage to the airport would have major benefits for a range of organisations beyond the airport itself, including Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus – which was based in the precinct.
He highlighted the $500 million investment occurring at Gold Coast Airport to accommodate existing and future passengers, saying transport linkages also needed to keep pace with the expected growth of the airport and its customers.
“We are currently redeveloping the terminal and the airport hotel is due to be finished mid-year,” he said.
“By 2037 Gold Coast Airport passenger numbers will have more than doubled and we need to ensure our customers can continue to easily access the airport well into the future.”
Mr Mills said with that growth in mind, light rail to the airport, the widening of the M1 to the border and the new southern entry into the airport precinct were the airport’s top transport priorities.