Final contract awarded for Brisbane Airport’s new runway

The $380m project is the latest stage of a near-$1bn effort to expand the hub, which is backed by the likes of QIC, Colonial First State and IFM.

Brisbane Airport Corporation has awarded the airfield works contract, part of the final stage of works for a new runway, to a joint venture between Australian developers BMD Construction and CPB Contractors. 

With an investment cost of A$1.3 billion ($989 million; €871 million), the new runway is currently the largest aviation infrastructure project under construction in Australia, according to the airport operator. 

First mooted in the 1970s, the project includes a 3.3km-long runway, over 12km of taxiways and all necessary airfield infrastructure including navigational aids, lighting, signage, operational roads, drainage, security fencing, control systems and about 300 hectares of airfield landscaping. 

The airport’s investment in this final stage of works, including the airfield works contract, is worth more than A$500 million and will take about three years to complete. The contract is also the largest, final and most expensive package of works carried out to build the runway. 

Brisbane Airport, currently the third-largest aviation hub in Australia by passenger numbers, was privatised in 1997 under a 50-year lease for about A$1.38 billion. It is majority owned by Australian investors including QIC, Colonial First State Global Asset Management, IFM Investors and several superannuation funds. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol owns a 18.7 percent stake.

Over the past two decades, the airport operator has privately invested more than A$3.4 billion in upgrading and expanding the hub’s infrastructure in a bid to increase capacity and improve user experience, according to Julieanne Alroe, chief executive and managing director of Brisbane Airport Corporation.

“Importantly, through privatisation, not one cent of the billions of dollars invested in this critical infrastructure has come from the government purse,” she added.