Brisbane Airport starts $5 billion transformation

Brisbane Airport
(IMAGE: Brisbane Airport)

ses image adBrisbane Airport is embarking on a $5 billion “Future BNE” investment program to create a better airport experience and cater for Queensland’s growing population in the coming decade and beyond. It is not one project, but more than 150 projects to transform Queensland’s most important transportation hub.

Future BNE will include upgrades to the Domestic Terminal, International Terminal and to continue planning a new Terminal 3 Precinct. Other aviation projects will see the expansion of aircraft parking and aprons, the resurfacing of the legacy runway, and the construction of a state-of-the-art Aeromedical facility to centralise medical repatriation and emergency services at Brisbane Airport.

“We’re investing now to get ahead of the population growth curve so we’re ready for 2032 and beyond. We’re investing now so Queenslanders and the world are more closely connected. And we’re investing now to be a leader in sustainability,” says Brisbane Airport Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Gert-Jan de Graaff.

More than 20,000 people currently work across Brisbane Airport for more than 600 employers. This is forecast to rise by an extra 10,000 people in the coming decade.

Domestic Terminal Upgrade
Significant work will commence this week on the transformation of Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal, to bring the facility which was opened just before World Expo ‘88 into the 21st century. Sparked by requirements to upgrade security screening equipment to meet Australian Government standards by the end of 2025, Brisbane Airport Corporation will use the opportunity to refresh the terminal in a series of projects which will transform Queensland’s gateway to the world.

“The Brisbane Airport Domestic Terminal is the most connected domestic terminal in Australia with services to 61 destinations, so it is a very important transport hub. Half of those destinations are in Queensland,” de Graaff said. “In the past year, 20 million passengers travelled through Brisbane Airport, and we expect that to grow by 10 million passengers in the coming decade as Queensland’s population expands and our terminals need to be ready. More than 20,000 people come to work at Brisbane Airport every day and we forecast that to grow to 30,000 by the time the flame is lit at the Opening Ceremony for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Future BNE will also create thousands of construction jobs as our 150 projects come to life.”

Domestic Terminal Security Upgrade
The replacement of security screening systems is required by the Australian Government’s Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative and must be completed by December 2025. This will mean the installation of new Computed Tomography (CT) technology. Benefits include:

  • Less hassle at security screening, as passengers will be able to leave most items in their hand luggage including laptops and aerosols   
  • Improved safety through better security screening 
  • More streamlined screening process 
  • Uniform experience across Australia’s major airports. 

Brisbane Airport has awarded Rapiscan the contract for the security upgrade.

New mezzanine level
To cater for the size and weight of the new screening equipment, a new mezzanine level will be constructed above the existing Central Terminal Area. This is a vast engineering project taking place in a terminal while still caring for up to 60,000 passengers every day. When finished, it will allow direct access from “Skywalk” (the walkway connecting carparks to the terminal) into Security Screening for passengers who have already checked-in and only have carry-on bags. There will be changes to the way passengers pass through the airport over the 3-year construction period. Travellers will be guided by airport ambassadors, customer service officers, updated signage, and help via plus our social media channels. Lendlease will manage this project which will be staged to minimise the impact to passengers, airlines, and retailers.    

New baggage system
Brisbane Airport is installing a new state of the art baggage system in the Domestic Terminal. The new system will feature upgraded security, modern bag-tag readers and operate sustainably, shutting segments of the system down when there are no bags to process, delivering energy savings. An entire new baggage hall will be built adjacent to the central satellite walkway. The current system will continue operating until the new system is built, tested and commissioned, allowing for a smooth transition. Project benefits include:

  • Better reliability 
  • Expanded capacity 
  • Improved security screening of checked-in bags 
  • Energy saving technology 

BAC has appointed global automation specialists Alstef and Brock Solutions the contract to build the new baggage handling system.

Domestic terminal self check-in
Domestic Terminal Self Check-in upgrades will provide a quick and simple check-in process for passengers of all domestic airlines.  The new check-in areas will be easy to use and will work seamlessly with bag drop and security screening, leaving more time to relax and explore the airport.

Dining expansion
Construction has just commenced to expand eating and dining options in the Virgin Australia end of the terminal, with a new bar along the glass windows to be constructed to allow customers to sip cocktails while watching planes land and depart. A total of 10 new food and beverage options will be available for travellers. It will include a 360-degree restaurant, the largest ever built at the airport, with the 10 new exciting tenants to be announced soon.

Refreshed gate departure lounges
Carpet and seating will be progressively upgraded. At departure gates adjacent to the retail upgrade, new café style social seating will be installed.

  • All furniture is Australian designed and manufactured and all timber used is Spotted Gum which is sustainably grown in Queensland. 
  • All carpet is made in Australia from 100% recycled carpet 
  • Tabletops are made from 100% recycled glass and do not contain engineered stone / silica 
  • Layout is flexible to allow wheelchair access 
  • Window side stools enable passengers to sit and view the aircraft landing and taking off before their flight.  

P2 Car Park Expansion
Since the pandemic, more people are choosing to drive to the airport instead of catching public transport or rideshare, meaning at peak times the airport is close to running out of carparking space. Expanding the P2 car park will provide more options for passengers with 1,700 additional car spaces plus active transport storage for scooters and bikes, sheltered from the elements, just a short walk to the terminal and adjacent to the airport hotels.


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