opinion

Project to watch: Brisbane Airport expansion

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Lachlan Walker 70x60Large infrastructure projects are instrumental in shaping cities and driving economic growth.

Blogger: Lachlan Walker, Place Advisory

This post will involve an indepth overview of one of Brisbane’s largest employment precincts and the subject of significant future investment – The Brisbane Airport.

The Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) currently controls the lease for the airport and has undertaken to direct the operations and future infrastructure investment without government funding, with the ultimate goal of making the Brisbane airport world class. In 2013 alone there was a total spend of more than $256 million on major developments, with a further $2.5 billion planned over the next 10 years.

BRISBANE AIRPORT FAST FACTS
•    Australia’s largest airport in terms of land area
•    Second busiest airport in terms of aircraft movement
•    Third busiest airport in Australia by passenger numbers
•    21,000 people are currently employed within the precinct, making it the second largest employment node in Queensland
•    Brisbane Airport is just eight kilometres from the CBD (Queensland’s largest employment node)
•    Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) estimated the all businesses within the airport precinct contributed approximately $3.3 billion in terms of Gross Value Add to the Queensland economy in 2012/2013
Source: BAC, DAE

FUTURE PLANNING
The BAC plans to fund over $2.5 billion worth of infrastructure over the next 10 years. Projects include a New Parallel Runway, taxiway and apron expansions, terminal expansions/upgrades, road upgrades and a number of new commercial buildings. 

The most significant component of this upgrade is the New Parallel Runway (NPR), which will provide a second runway parallel to the existing runway. Due to the large land area of the Brisbane Airport, this runway was able to be innovatively designed and positioned, giving Brisbane the most efficient runway system of all major Australian city airports. The NPR will double the current capacity of the airport and future-proof Brisbane’s economic development. 

Upon completion (planned for 2020), the NPR will have created 2,700 jobs during construction and a further 7,800 permanent jobs by 2035. Projections show that by 2035, the runway will be catering for 133,000 more flights than it currently does and deliver a regional benefit of $5 billion per year. The efficient design on the runway will allow the same level of capacity as Hong Kong and Singapore and will make Brisbane’s airport the best in Australia and our gateway to China.  

FORECASTS FOR AIPORT PRECINCT
•    Forecasts indicate that by 2033/2034, some 11.7 million passengers will pass through the International T1 annually
•    Furthermore, by 2033/2034, around 37 million passengers will pass through the Domestic T2 annually
•    The precinct is predicted to hold 50,000 employees by 2033/2034 across a range of industry sectors – up from 21,000 currently
•    Over same period, the airports contribution to the Queensland economy will rise from $3.3 billion to $8.3 billion
Source: BAC, DAE

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR REAL ESTATE?
The expansion of BAP and associated infrastructure (airport link) has and will continue to have a profound impact on shaping the city scape into the future. Already we are seeing rapid gentrification occur along the transport corridors between Brisbane’s CBD and the airport – QLD's two largest employment nodes.  Subsequently, already popular suburbs such as Nundah and Hamilton will become the focus of further residential and commercial development due to their direct arterial access to both of these locations. Additionally, areas previously dismissed as ‘airport suburbs’ will start to benefit from increased employment and direct access, and as such will yield higher rental rates and lower vacancy. 

As Brisbane’s accessibility improves on a national level, this will pave the way for international business opportunities to expand. Brisbane is the closest Australian capital city to South-East Asia, and the expansion of the new airport brings increased opportunities for Brisbane real estate through this avenue. We will soon start see a greater depth of overseas buyers and investors entering the Brisbane market. Our property prices, our climate and our university opportunities already make Brisbane a top choice for Asian buyers, and increased accessibility will only add to this.


About Lachlan Walker
Lachlan Walker 340x408

Lachlan Walker is head of the Place Advisory division at Place Projects, Brisbane’s premiere project marketing company. Lachlan is recognised as one of Queensland’s preeminent residential property market experts, specialising in south east Queensland residential property.

His role is to provide product specific advice to clients by gathering and applying internal and external market intelligence which is translated into meaningful market reports. He is widely published and is continually called upon to provide commentary on the residential market by various media and property journalists nationally.

Lachlan has extensive experience in property market research and has provided professional consultancy and advisory services to leading property clients including the likes of Leighton Properties, Lend Lease, Watpac, FKP, Brisbane Housing Company and Consolidated Properties.

Visit www.placeprojects.com.au for more information.

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