Queensland Airports Limited has appointed infrastructure giant Lendlease for the development of the Gold Coast Airport’s southern terminal expansion.

Part of the next phase of the $370 million airport redevelopment, Project LIFT, the scope covers the development of a three-level terminal to the south of the current facility.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said the Gold Coast Airport project would address capacity issues and pave the way for future passenger growth. Currently, the airport handles 6.6 million passengers a year, a number that is expected to more than double by 2037.

According to Mills, the existing terminal is currently operating beyond capacity. The expansion, therefore, will not only help them meet demand but also create an entry point to the city.

The first phase of Project LIFT completed last year ahead of the Commonwealth Games added 20,000 square metres to their apron area to create more aircraft parking space.

Lendlease’s extensive experience in property and construction, including work in the aviation sector, made them an ideal partner for the important project, he added.

Work on the HASSELL Studio-designed terminal expansion will commence soon and is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

Deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development Michael McCormack said the announcement was good news for the Gold Coast and Northern NSW, where the population is forecast to grow significantly in the next 20 years.

“This will continue to open the region to connections for tourists and locals, with a modern and efficient airport to keep pace with the increase in demand over time,” he says.

Tourism industry development minister Kate Jones said the project would support growth of the tourism sector on the Gold Coast, which was Australia’s premier holiday destination.

“We also know that ensuring tourists have easy access to the Coast is crucial when it comes to growing the local tourism industry. We’ll continue to work with the Gold Coast Airport to secure more flights direct to the city in the future.”

Lendlease Building chief executive officer Dale Connor said the announcement reflected the strong relationship between Lendlease and Queensland Airports.

“We look forward to working with Queensland Airports to expand the Gold Coast Airport in preparation for future domestic and international growth,” he says.

The terminal expansion project is expected to generate employment locally with Lendlease likely to appoint more than 1500 subcontractors and suppliers.