BRISBANE Airport chiefs are planning to build a monorail system to move passengers around the hub as they prepare for a huge increase in traffic over the next 20 years.
The mass transit system proposal is part of a draft master plan to be released this week outlining $2.5 billion of development at the airport between now and 2034.
The 350-page document predicts annual passenger numbers will more than double from the current 22 million to 49 million.
While the introduction of larger planes means flights are not expected to increase at quite the same rate, aircraft movements are predicted to rise by 64 per cent to 360,000 – or 986 each day – thanks to the new parallel runway which will be ready by 2020.
The groundwork has started for Brisbane Airports long awaited second runway but it will come at a cost to passengers.
Head of airport development Mark Willey said Brisbane Airport was rapidly growing into a large international hub.
By 2034, it would be the size that major airports such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Amsterdam’s Schiphol are today
“That is the scale and sophistication of the operation we are looking at,” he said.
The proposal flags an ¬expansion of the domestic terminal to more than double its ¬current size and the building of additional remote lounges, possibly for regional services and low-cost airlines.
A separate charter terminal is already due to open next year.
A new satellite building, located between international and domestic, is earmarked, providing shared facilities for international or domestic operations.
With nearly one million people expected to travel through the airport every week within two decades – and the 21,000-strong airport workforce tipped to swell to 52,000 – transport within the 27sq km site is a priority in the new master plan.
Increased use of buses is envisaged in the short-term, while detailed planning continues for a Mass Transit ¬System to be built between 2019 and 2024.
Mr Willey said an elevated monorail was a likely option.
It would run on a loop, linking a central public and staff car-parking area to the terminals and departure and arrival lounges as well as ¬providing a connection to the Skygate retail precinct.
A central transport interchange centre is planned for between 2024 and 2034.
The new master plan ¬reveals that Brisbane Airport is not expected to reach ¬capacity until 2060.
Up to 100 aircraft an hour will be able to fly in and out of Brisbane when the new parallel runway opens in 2020.
Brisbane Airport Corporation committed to funding the $1.3 billion project last October, following The ¬Courier-Mail’s seven-month #bnelateagain campaign highlighting chronic flight congestion and the need for the additional landing strip to go ahead without delay.
The draft plan is open for public comment until June 26.