Gold Coast Airport

Gold Coast Airport
Gold Coast Airport
Gca logo.jpg
OOL is located in Queensland
Location of airport in Queensland
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Queensland Airports Limited
Serves Gold Coast, Brisbane
Location Gold Coast, Queensland
Hub for Jetstar Airways
SEAIR Pacific
Elevation AMSL 21 ft / 6 m
Coordinates 28°09′54″S 153°30′18″E / 28.165°S 153.505°E / -28.165; 153.505
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14/32 2,342 7,683 Asphalt
17/35 582 1,909 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Passengers 5,186,145
Source: En Route Supplement Australia[1]

Gold Coast Airport, or Coolangatta Airport, (IATA: OOLICAO: YBCG) is an Australian domestic and international airport on the Gold Coast and is located some 100 km (62 mi) south of Brisbane and 25 km south of Surfers Paradise. The entrance to the airport is situated in the suburb of Bilinga on the Gold Coast. The runway itself straddles 5 suburbs of twin cities across the state border of Queensland and New South Wales. During summer these states are in two different time zones.

Gold Coast Airport is currently the sixth busiest international airport in Australia and the 3rd fastest growing airport in the country.[2]



Gold Coast Airport Statistics[3]
Year Total Passengers
2000–01 1,896,170
2001–02 1,724,107
2002–03 2,215,188
2003–04 2,576,940
2004–05 3,212,036
2005–06 3,581,646
2006–07 3,753,538
2007–08 4,287,114
2008–09 4,602,449
2009–10 5,170,019
2010–11 5,441,890

Until 1999, the airport was known as Coolangatta Airport. It originally consisted (1936) of three grass strips with the intention of only providing emergency landing ground for airmail aircraft transiting between Brisbane and Sydney. Finally, passenger flights took off for the first time in 1939, using the then grassy field of the current Coolangatta site. Regular services were started by Queensland Airlines and Butler Air Transport after the Second World War. Ansett started its own services in 1950 using DC-3s, while Trans Australia Airlines did the same in 1954 using DC-3s too as well as DC-4s and Convairs to link other Australian cities.[4]

By 1958, the taxiways and runways were fully paved, with the later being upgraded a decade later to allow jet operations with DC-9 and L-188 Electra aircraft to began. The current terminal, entitled Eric Robinson Building, was officially opened in 1981 by Acting Prime Minister Douglas Anthony, when at the time more than 650,000 passengers were using the airport. The following year, the main runway was lengthened to 2,042 m (6,699 ft), thus permitting the use of wide-body jets by the two domestic operators Ansett Australia and Trans Australia Airlines and their Boeing 767 and Airbus A300 respectively on flights from Melbourne and Sydney.[4]

On 1 January 1988, the airport ownership was transferred from the government to the Federal Airports Corporation. Its full privatisation occurred a decade later, when it was taken over by Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) on 29 May 1998. By 1999, the company's name had changed to become Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd (GCAPL).[5] The airport suffered from the collapse of Ansett in 2001– Ansett had operated direct services from the Gold Coast to 12 Australian destinations.

In 2003 GCAPL was taken over by Queensland Airports Limited and today also own and operate Mount Isa Airport and Townsville Airport.[6]

Despite the name change from Coolangatta Airport to Gold Coast Airport during change of ownership, the airport still carries its original IATA Airport Code, OOL.

In 1990, the airport welcomed its first international charter service from New Zealand, and by 1999, Air New Zealand low-cost subsidiary Freedom Air started scheduled no-frills service from Hamilton, New Zealand with Boeing 737s. In 2007, the airport celebrated the arrival of AirAsia X, which began services directly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Tiger Airways Australia, which started services to Melbourne. By January 2008, the Kuala Lumpur route had proved so popular, that all flights up to the month of March were completely booked. AirAsia X announced that they would begin a daily service from 6 February 2010.[7]

On 22 September 2008 it was announced that Air Pacific will expand its services to Australia with the introduction of twice weekly flights between Nadi, Fiji and the Gold Coast commencing December 2008. Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO, John Campbell, said "Australia is Fiji's number one source of visitors and with the population growing rapidly in the South East corner of Queensland we know the time is right to introduce this service." The new route commenced on 1 December 2008 with two flights per week operated by 160 seat Boeing 737–800 aircraft on a Monday and Saturday. The service has since been suspended.

By 2009, Jetstar begun flying at least twice daily to Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. Services to New Zealand increased as well with Jetstar, Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue flying to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Airnorth also started services to the airport from Darwin, via Mount Isa. In addition, Virgin Blue announced direct services from Canberra and Townsville. This opens up connections between all three QAL owned airports – Mount Isa Airport, Townsville Airport and Gold Coast Airport.

2010 saw Jetstar announce the airport as its newest hub, increased services to Cairns[8] and new direct services to Perth[9] and Queenstown.[10] Tiger Airways also announced their newest base at Avalon Airport in Geelong, and said that services from Avalon to the Gold Coast will commence later in the year;[11] however, services to Adelaide would be cut due to delays in receiving new aircraft which were meant to be for their new Avalon base.[12]

On 13 June 2010, start up airline Pacific Flier began weekly services from Koror, Palau, using an Airbus A310. The route has since been suspended due to traffic rights and terminal access being halted in Palau.[13]

On 26 October 2010, Gold Coast Airport was named the 2010 Major Airport of the Year 2010 by the Australian Airports Association (AAA).[14]

On 16 November 2010, Jetstar announced new daily direct services to Hobart.[15]

On 30 March 2011, Gold Coast Airport was named the Best Regional Airport Asia/Pacific and was awarded the Staff Service Excellence Australia/Pacific award at the Skytrax World Airport Awards in Copenhagen, Denmark.[16]


Eric Robinson terminal from inside an Airbus A320

It is anticipated that a railway station will be constructed at the airport when the Gold Coast Line is extended. The recently opened Tugun Bypass provides a much faster road link to the Airport, with the bypass also featuring a tunnel under the runway.[17]

The airport opened an extension to the main runway as well as a full length parallel taxiway in May 2007. The runway will be 2,500 m (8,202 ft) long, allowing for heavier aircraft with greater range to takeoff.[18] On 16 May 2007, the runway extension was officially inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, the Hon Mark Vaile MP.[19]

Gold Coast Airport appointed ADCO Constructions as the principal design and construct contractor for a $100 million redevelopment of the airport’s main terminal. Completed in 2010, the project has doubled the size of the existing facility to almost 27,000 m2 (290,000 sq ft), incorporating domestic and international operations with self service kiosks and 40 common user check-in desks. The works will accommodate forecast growth for the next 10 years with a further expansion, stage two, scheduled to kick in upon demand. The main terminal – Terminal 1 – currently houses operations for Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Airnorth, Pacific Blue Airlines and AirAsia X. Terminal 2 accommodates Tiger Airways Australia.

Tiger Airways Australia flights operate from a low cost terminal with basic amenities, located approximately 200 m (660 ft) from the main terminal building. The building is loosely similar to Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport but on a much smaller scale.

SEAIR Pacific, a scheduled and charter airline based at Gold Coast Airport, operate from their own hangar situated in the general aviation part of the airport.

Airlines and destinations

Passenger services

The following airlines operate scheduled and in some cases chartered passenger flights from Gold Coast Airport. All passenger airlines operate flights from the main terminal (T1), with the exception of SEAIR Pacific and Tiger Airways, with SEAIR Pacific operating from their own hangar in the general aviation part of the airport, and Tiger Airways operating from Terminal 2 (T2)

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air New Zealand Auckland, Christchurch 1
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur 1
Airnorth Darwin, Mount Isa 1
Jetstar Airways Adelaide, Auckland, Cairns, Christchurch, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Osaka-Kansai, Perth [20], Sydney, Tokyo-Narita 1
SEAIR Pacific Charter: Lady Elliot Island SEAIR Pacific Hangar
Tiger Airways Australia Melbourne, Sydney 2
Virgin Australia Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville 1
Virgin Australia operated by Pacific Blue Auckland 1

Cargo services

The following airlines operate scheduled cargo flights from Gold Coast Airport. All cargo services operate from the Freight Terminal.

Airlines Destinations
Toll Priority operated by Toll Aviation Ballina, Bankstown, Brisbane, Coffs Harbour

Australian air Express uses the belly space of Jetstar aircraft to transport cargo domestically. It is also contracted for Jetstar international flights and Air New Zealand flights from the airport. It offers same day/overnight and standby services domestically airport to airport and airport to door from Gold Coast Airport.[21]

Coast Cargo offers a full range of international and domestic logistics services at Gold Coast Airport. As a privately owned, IATA-accredited freight forwarder Coast Cargo provides both inbound and outbound freight services on all airlines at Gold Coast and Brisbane Airports. At Gold Coast Airport, Coast Cargo provides numerous services including courier, international and domestic pet animal transport services on Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue airlines, line-haul services Gold Coast to Brisbane and international and domestic freight services.[22]

Coast Cargo is a registered Cargo Terminal Operator (CTO) and currently handles Air Asia X, Pacific Blue and Virgin Blue airlines. It is also the agent for Toll Air Express.[23]



Busiest Domestic Routes out of Gold Coast Airport
(Year Ending October 2010)[24]
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change
1 Sydney Airport 2,366,000 increase10.0
2 Melbourne Airport 1,714,600 increase6.4
3 Adelaide Airport 275,700 increase5.1
4 Newcastle Airport 162,500 increase14.3
Busiest Domestic Routes out of Gold Coast Airport
(Month of September 2010)
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change
1 Sydney Airport 197,600 increase7.4
2 Melbourne Airport 164,500 increase12.3
3 Adelaide Airport 23,100 decrease6.5
4 Newcastle Airport 16,200 increase48.1


Busiest International Routes out of Gold Coast Airport (Year ending June 2010)[25]
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change
1 Auckland Airport 251,500 increase86.9
2 Kuala Lumpur International Airport 172,700 increase58.4
3 Tokyo Narita Airport 136,300 increase110.8
4 Kansai Airport 116,700 increase44.8
5 Christchurch International Airport 48,800 decrease11.0
6 Wellington International Airport 4,000 decrease76.3
Busiest International Routes out of Gold Coast Airport (Month of August 2010)
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change
1 Auckland Airport 22,600 increase11.9
2 Kuala Lumpur International Airport 17,200 increase38.4
3 Narita International Airport 13,600 increase23.5
4 Kansai International Airport 13,000 increase27.7
5 Christchurch International Airport 5,300 increase3.8
  • Service to Wellington has since been suspended.

Bus connections

2 local bus routes service the Gold Coast Airport.

Both of these are operated 7 days by Surfside Buslines


  • 702 – Southport via Gold Coast Highway – Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Australia Fair
  • 761 – Varsity Lakes Rail – via The Pines and then express to Varsity Lakes


  • 761 – Tweed Heads via Kirra and Coolangatta


See also


  1. ^ YBCG – GOLD COAST (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 25 August 2011
  2. ^ "About Gold Coast Airport". Gold Coast Airport. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Gold Coast Airport Statistics". Gold Coast Airport. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "About". Gold Coast Airport. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Gold Coast Airport History". Gold Coast Airport, Queensland. Retrieved 15 February 2008. 
  6. ^ "Queensland Airports Limited". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Name: (will appear on website) (28 October 2009). "AirAsia X increases flights to KL Visitor Information". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Jetstar increases flights to Cairns – Airline-Hotel-News". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Dale Granger (17 August 2010). "Jetstar to slash prices and put on 22 extra flights to Perth, Latest Business & Australian Stock market News". Perth Now. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Tiger Airways". Tiger Airways. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Tiger cuts routes in profit review". The Australian. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Blank". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ Name: (will appear on website) (16 November 2010). "Jetstar offers direct Coast to Hobart link Local Gold Coast News,, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia". Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Tugun Bypass project – Queensland Department of Main Roads". Queensland Government. Retrieved 2 February 2008. 
  18. ^ Finelli, Marco: Coolangatta Gold Coast – An airport with a golden future, page 55, (Airliner World online) September 2005
  19. ^ Tourism takes off at Gold Coast Airport Minister for Transport and Regional Services online
  20. ^
  21. ^ "General Aviation & Freight". Gold Coast Airport. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  22. ^ [ "Coast Cargo - About Us"]. Coast Cargo - Gold Coast International Airport Air Freight. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  23. ^ "General Aviation and Freight". Gold Coast Airport - At the Airport. Gold Coast Airport. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Domestic airline activity". 17 September 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  25. ^
  • Coolangatta Gold Coast – An airport with a golden future by Marco Finelli – Airliner World September 2005. (Airliner World online)
  • QAL sees new passenger record – Gold Coast Airport is standout ([3])

External links


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