Sunshine Coast Airport

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Sunshine Coast Airport logo.svg
Airport type Public
Owner Sunshine Coast Regional Council
Operator Sunshine Coast Regional Council
Serves Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Location Marcoola, Queensland
Elevation AMSL 15 ft / 5 m
Coordinates 26°36′12″S 153°05′30″E / 26.60333°S 153.09167°E / -26.60333; 153.09167Coordinates: 26°36′12″S 153°05′30″E / 26.60333°S 153.09167°E / -26.60333; 153.09167
YBSU is located in Queensland
Location in Queensland
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 1,797 5,896 Asphalt
12/30 650 2,133 Paved
Source: AIP[1]

Sunshine Coast Airport (formerly Maroochydore Airport) (IATA: MCYICAO: YBSU) is an Australian airport serving Sunshine Coast, Queensland. It is the gateway to holiday destinations such as Noosa, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Caloundra. There are direct daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne, with frequent connecting flights to both domestic and international ports. In addition, Air New Zealand serves the city seasonally, with two turning into three weekly return flights from Maroochydore to Auckland.

The Sunshine Coast Airport is situated at Marcoola 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Maroochydore, and is owned, operated, managed and developed by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, which assumed the powers of the former Shire of Maroochy. It is the principal airport for the Sunshine Coast and is the only airport in the region capable of servicing jet aircraft operations.


The Queensland Government granted a parcel of land to the Maroochy Shire Council in 1958 for use as a general aviation airstrip. The first test landing on a grass strip was on 16 August 1959. The airstrip was initially used by the Maroochy Aero Club and Queensland Parachute Club. Maroochy Shire Council funded the construction of a 4,500 ft (1,400 m) sealed runway, suitable for aircraft up to the Fokker F27 Friendship, which opened on 12 August 1961. With the commencement of regular public transport services, the airstrip was renamed Maroochydore Airport. Lights for night landings were provided in 1974.

A terminal building was constructed in 1979. The runway was extended to 1,797 m (5,896 ft) in 1983 to allow the operation of Fokker F28 Fellowship and BAe 146 regional jets. The runway was upgraded again in 1993 to allow the operation of larger Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 jets. A new terminal building was completed in 1997 and the airport was renamed Sunshine Coast Airport.[2]


The Airport supports a number of regular public transport services (with Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A320 aircraft) and a variety of general aviation activities. These activities are in keeping with the increasing demands of tourism, passenger traffic, general aviation and commercial development opportunities and flight training (Aero Dynamic Flight Academy) .

The airport handles aircraftmovements of around 87,000 per annum, has a capacity of 900,000 passengermovements per annum.[3] In 2009, the airport handled 916,845 passengers making it the 15th busiest airport in Australia.

On 3 June 2010, the airport changed its name from 'Maroochydore-Sunshine Coast Airport' to Sunshine Coast Airport and changed its ICAO code from YBMC to YBSU.[4]

In February 2012, Air New Zealand announced plans to launch a new twice-weekly between Auckland and Sunshine Coast Airport, to operate seasonally from July to September.[5] This was the airport's first international services. Sunshine Coast Airport had build customs, immigration and quarantine facilities ahead of the first flight. On 12 November, Air New Zealand had announced that the season will be extended in 2013, with flights operating from June to October.[6] Air New Zealand showed a strong commitment to fly direct to the Sunshine Coast and extended seasons in 2014, 2015 and 2016 adding a new service on Fridays in addition to Tuesdays and Sundays.[7]

As of April 2014, the only scheduled domestic routes are to southern state capitals, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. These are serviced by Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tigerair. There are no scheduled flights north or to any other destinations in Queensland, although surveys have shown a high demand for flights north.[8] The national carrier Qantas do not service the airport.[9]


The airport has one terminal. During the Air New Zealand seasonal flights to Auckland the terminal can be split into an international and domestic terminals. It has one-storey and thus there are no aerobridges, and passengers must take a short walk on the tarmac to reach their aircraft.

The terminal is modern and of high-quality for a regional airport. There are a few food and shopping outlets within the terminal for passengers as they wait for their flight. Each of the five airlines operating have dedicated check-in desks and gates. There are two baggage carousels, TV monitors, a taxi rank, shuttle bus services and hire-car desks. The departure lounge is fairly large, with seating available for about 300 people.

Airport transport options[edit]

The airport has a range of transport options to and from the airport. The local taxi service is Suncoast Cabs.

The main airport shuttle service is run by SunAir. They provide a door to door shuttle transfer to Sunshine Coast hotels and private residences to all suburbs south of the Sunshine Coast Airport including Twin Waters, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland, Mooloolaba, Kawana, Buderim, Caloundra, Golden Beach and Pelican Waters.

For shuttle transfers to Noosa and northern suburbs, Henrys Airport Shuttle offers a similar door-to-door service as well as Quicksilver Limousines operate a door to door service to all suburbs and further afield.

Highway access and the entrance road to the Sunshine Coast Airport have both recently been upgraded in mid-2010.[citation needed]


Virgin Australia flight about to touchdown at Sunshine Coast Airport on runway 18

The airport has two runways. The longer main runway, 18/36, handles the jets and the shorter runway 12/30 handles general aviation.

The airport master plan proposes building a new 2,450 m (8,040 ft) Runway 13/31 some time before 2020. This would replace the 650 m (2,130 ft) runway 12/30 and allow operation of aircraft larger and with longer range than the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 with minimal impact on nearby residents.[3] Use of wide body aircraft such as Airbus A330 and Boeing 767, 787 would allow direct flights to Southeast Asia, China and Hawaii.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air New Zealand Seasonal: Auckland[11]
Jetstar Airways Melbourne, Sydney
Tigerair Australia Melbourne (ends 21 July 2014)
Virgin Australia Sydney


Busiest domestic routes out of Sunshine Coast Airport (Year ending June 2013)[12]
Rank Airport Passengers carried  % Change
1 New South Wales, Sydney 461,900 Increase1.0
2 Victoria, Melbourne 338,800 Increase1.7

See also[edit]


External links[edit]