First Look: Inside Gold Coast Airport’s New International Terminal
Executive Traveler Exclusive
Travelers to Gold Coast Airport will soon enjoy a new experience – with glass sky bridges and dazzling sunset views – as the long-awaited expansion of the international terminal finally welcomes the first passengers from 8 September.
Ten years in the planning and three under construction, the new $260 million terminal is part of a precinct-wide rejuvenation project, with one doubling the capacity of the already busy airport.
Domestic travelers will be the first to use the facility, ahead of overseas arrivals from October 13.
Executive Traveler was invited to take a look and we are delighted to report that this is a huge 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, a cafe, and a news agency.
Now spread over three levels, the impressive new complex – dubbed the South Building – features six gates, four glass aerobridges (a first for the airport) and a hinterland-facing departure lounge, in addition to new boarding, baggage handling and border control facilities. .
In a nod to its border location between New South Wales and Queensland, the baggage claim area features a line marking the separation between the states. It is intended to be a popular photo stop.
Furnished in shades of green and bronze to echo its outback location, the departures lounge offers incredible skyline views, as well as a wide range of seating options, many of which have outlets judiciously placed current.
Elsewhere, the airport draws its colors from the coast with subtle blues and greens.
The 11-meter-high staging area is also home to an impressive mottled gum wall, which reflects the rise and fall of the nearby outback mountain range. This is just one of many design features that reference the region.
A refresh of the existing terminal has also already begun, with a total of 18 new food and beverage and retail outlets across the country and internationally by mid-2023.
Queensland Airports has been approached to confirm access to the frequent flyer lounge.
“This is the centerpiece of a $500 million investment in our Gold Coast airport compound,” said Amelia Evans, CEO of Queensland Airports Limited.
The first glimpse of the transformation project was the launch of the Rydges Gold Coast Airport Hotel in November 2020, located directly opposite the new terminal.
“Since then, we have done a lot of work in the airport terminal, including our airside processing area, which helps ease traffic congestion when you board the plane, as well as the transport interchange,” adds Evans.
“But this $260 million building is what will make the difference. To the City of Gold Coast, to the tourism industry, to our passengers, to our team.
The new terminal will allow Gold Coast Airport to accommodate 19 aircraft at a time.
While construction throughout the pandemic has not been without its challenges, Evans says the finished product is coming at just the right time, with the industry continuing to rebound and the airport setting record passenger numbers – above pre-Covid levels – in the month of June.
From October 2022, those traveling to the Gold Coast from New Zealand, Singapore and Japan will arrive via the terminal extension.
Gold Coast Airport currently sees international flights with Scoot, Jetstar and Air New Zealand, while Virgin Australia will launch its inaugural services to Bali from March 2023.
There is hope that Air Asia X, once a regular fixture in pre-pandemic times, will also return.