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Gold Coast Airport

Coordinates: 28°09′54″S 153°30′22″E / 28.16500°S 153.50611°E / -28.16500; 153.50611
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Gold Coast Airport
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorQueensland Airports
Focus city forVirgin Australia
Operating base forJetstar
Elevation AMSL21 ft / 6 m
Coordinates28°09′54″S 153°30′22″E / 28.16500°S 153.50611°E / -28.16500; 153.50611
OOL/YBCG is located in Gold Coast, Australia
Location in Queensland
OOL/YBCG is located in Queensland
OOL/YBCG (Queensland)
OOL/YBCG is located in Australia
OOL/YBCG (Australia)
OOL/YBCG is located in Oceania
OOL/YBCG (Oceania)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
14/32 2,492 8,176 Asphalt
17/35 582 1,909 Asphalt
Statistics (2016/17)
Passenger MovementsIncrease 6,457,086
Aircraft MovementsIncrease 42,570
Sources: AIP[1]
passenger and aircraft movements from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE)[2]
Gold Coast Airport Statistics[3]
Year Total passengers
2001–02 1,736,004
2002–03 2,177,602
2003–04 2,504,001
2004–05 3,141,771
2005–06 3,515,021
2006–07 3,777,856
2007–08 4,323,355
2008–09 4,618,200
2009–10 5,186,147
2010–11 5,486,072
2011–12 5,315,923
2012–13 5,795,449
2013–14 5,746,566
2014–15 5,865,437
2015–16 6,303,920

Gold Coast Airport (formerly known as Coolangatta Airport[4]) (IATA: OOL, ICAO: YBCG) is a domestic and international Australian airport located at the southern end of the Gold Coast and approximately 90 km (56 mi) south of Brisbane, within the South East Queensland agglomeration. The entrance to the airport is situated in the suburb of Bilinga near Coolangatta. The main runway itself cuts through the state borders of Queensland and New South Wales. During summer, these states are in two different time zones. The Gold Coast Airport operates on Queensland Time (year-round AEST / UTC+10).

The facility occupies 371 hectares (917 acres) of airport property.[5]


Until 1989, the airport was known as Coolangatta Airport. This is an Aboriginal word meaning "Place of Good View". It originally consisted (1936) of three grass strips with the intention of only providing an emergency landing ground for airmail aircraft transiting between Brisbane and Sydney. Passenger flights took off for the first time in 1939 using the then grassy field of the current Coolangatta site. Regular services were started by Queensland Airlines and Butler Air Transport after World War II. Ansett started its own services in 1950 using DC-3s, while Trans Australia Airlines did the same in 1954 using DC-3s, too, as well as DC-4s and Convairs to link other Australian cities.[6]

By 1958, the taxiways and runways were fully paved, with the latter upgraded a decade later to allow jet operations with DC-9 and L-188 Electra aircraft to begin. The current terminal, known as the Eric Robinson Building, was officially opened in 1981 by Acting Prime Minister Douglas Anthony, when at the time more than 650,000 passengers were using the airport. The following year, the main runway was lengthened to 2,042 m (6,699 ft), thus permitting the use of wide-body jets by the two domestic operators Ansett Australia and Trans Australia Airlines and their Boeing 767 and Airbus A300 respectively on flights from Melbourne and Sydney.[6]

From 1 January 1988, the airport was managed by the Federal Airports Corporation on behalf of the Government. A decade later, on 29 May 1998, the airport was privatised via a long-term lease to Queensland Airports (QAL). By 1999 the company's name had changed to become Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd (GCAPL).[7] The airport then suffered from the collapse of Ansett in 2001, as Ansett had operated direct services from the Gold Coast to 12 Australian destinations.

In 2003, GCAPL was taken over by QAL, which today also leases and operates Mount Isa Airport, Townsville Airport and Longreach Airport.[8]

Despite the name change from Coolangatta Airport to Gold Coast Airport, the airport retains its original IATA code, OOL and ICAO code, YBCG. The Airport ownership remains with the Government of Australia.

In 1989, the airport welcomed its first international charter service from New Zealand, and by 1999 Air New Zealand low-cost subsidiary Freedom Air started scheduled no-frills service from Hamilton, New Zealand with Boeing 737s. In 2007 the airport celebrated the arrival of AirAsia X, which began services directly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Tigerair Australia, which started services to Melbourne. Subsequently, the airport has had flights from Air Pacific from Nadi, Fiji. Jetstar to Tokyo and Osaka. Services to New Zealand increased as well, with Jetstar, Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue flying to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Airnorth also started services to the airport from Darwin, via Mount Isa. In addition, Virgin Blue announced direct services from Canberra and Townsville. This opened up connections between all three Queensland Airports-owned airports – Mount Isa Airport, Townsville Airport and Gold Coast Airport.

2010 saw Jetstar announce the airport as its newest hub, increased services to Cairns[9] and new direct services to Perth[10] (discontinued in 2013) and Queenstown.[11] Tiger Airways also announced their newest base at Avalon Airport in Geelong, and said that services from Avalon to the Gold Coast would commence later in the year;[12] however, services to Adelaide would be cut due to delays in receiving new aircraft which were intended for their new Avalon base.[13]

On 26 October 2010, Gold Coast Airport was named the 2010 Major Airport of the Year 2010 by the Australian Airports Association (AAA).[14]

The Gold Coast Airport served as the official airport of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[15]

In July 2023, Scoot Airlines suspended its Gold Coast route indefinitely, citing operational costs, leaving no direct route between the Gold Coast and Singapore.[16]

On 1 August 2023 Bonza announced it would open its third base at Gold Coast Airport flying on 14 routes 11 of which aren't flown by other airlines.[17][18]

In October 2023, Jetstar replaced its Gold Coast to Tokyo route with Brisbane, to better utilize resources.[19]


Eric Robinson terminal from inside an Airbus A320
Inside the newly refurbished terminal building in 2015
Departures Lounge and Dining in the 2022 terminal extension
Arrivals Area in the 2022 terminal extension
Gold Coast apron view

It is anticipated that a railway station will be constructed at the airport if the Gold Coast line is extended. In 2008, the Tugun Bypass opened and featured a tunnel under the runway.[20]

The airport opened an extension to the main runway as well as a full-length parallel taxiway in May 2007. The runway will be 2,500 m (8,202 ft) long, allowing for heavier aircraft with greater range to takeoff.[21] The final runway was confirmed as 2,492 m (8,176 ft) long in 2007, as says the plaque and photos of the 2006 runway length of 2,042 m (6,699 ft) compared to the 2007 runway length of 2,492 m (8,176 ft) on the left wall of the arrivals southern exit.

On 16 May 2007, the runway extension was officially inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Mark Vaile.[22]

Gold Coast Airport appointed ADCO Constructions as the principal design and construct contractor for a $100-million redevelopment of the airport's main terminal. Completed in 2010, the project doubled the size of the existing facility to almost 27,000 m2 (290,000 sq ft), incorporating domestic and international operations with self-service kiosks and 40 common-user check-in desks. The works will accommodate forecast growth for the next 10 years with a further expansion, stage two, scheduled to kick in upon demand. The main terminal – Terminal 1 – currently houses operations for Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Rex, Air New Zealand and Scoot.

Before moving to the main terminal, Tigerair flights previously operated from a low-cost terminal with basic amenities, located approximately 200 m (660 ft) from the main terminal building.

Seair Pacific, a scheduled and charter airline based at Gold Coast Airport, operate from their own hangar in the general aviation part of the airport.

An Instrument Landing System (ILS) was scheduled to be installed at the airport by June 2015 to enable planes to land during adverse weather conditions. It would be a Required navigation performance (RNP) system rather than a traditional ILS as this would allow planes to cross the coast at Currumbin rather than Surfers Paradise and therefore fly over fewer houses. The proposed ILS had become an issue with residents concerned with noise.[23] On 25 January 2016 the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, approved the installation of an ILS at Gold Coast Airport. Due to Ground contamination that was found at the ILS location, it will not be able to be installed before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.[24]

Terminal Expansion[edit]

2016 saw the commencement of Project LIFT an approximate $300 million upgrade featuring two new wide-bodied aircraft stands and a three-level terminal development with four aerobridges and improved ground transport facilities. It enabled up to 19 additional aircraft to take off and touch down.

In July 2019 work began on the 30,000-square-metre (322,917 sq ft) southern terminal expansion. Infrastructure group Lendlease was appointed to deliver the project.[25]

By August 2022 much of the expansion work was complete and 400 volunteers participated in a mass trial at the Gold Coast Airport's new terminal on 30 August 2022.[26]


Gold Coast Airport has two airline lounges: one, operated by Virgin Australia, has been operational since 30 May 2012,[27] and is available to business class passengers, Virgin Australia lounge members, and Velocity Frequent Flyer Gold and Platinum members. A Qantas Club has been operational at the airport as of 3 December 2012,[28] and is available to business class passengers, Qantas Club members, and Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold and Platinum members.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


The following airlines operate scheduled and in some cases chartered passenger flights from Gold Coast Airport. All passenger airlines operate flights from the main terminal (T1) with the exception of Seair Pacific, which operates from their own hangar in the general aviation part of the airport and Eastern Air Services which operates from the General Aviation apron.[29][30]

AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur–International[31]
Air New Zealand Auckland, Christchurch
Eastern Air Services Lord Howe Island, Port Macquarie
Jetstar Adelaide, Auckland, Avalon, Cairns, Canberra,[32] Christchurch, Hobart,[33] Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Queenstown, Sydney, Wellington
Qantas Melbourne, Sydney
QantasLink Seasonal: Adelaide
Rex Airlines Melbourne, Sydney
Seair Pacific Hervey Bay, Lady Elliot Island, Redcliffe
Virgin Australia Adelaide, Canberra, Denpasar, Melbourne, Sydney


The following airlines operate scheduled cargo flights from Gold Coast Airport.

Qantas Freight[34] Sydney

Qantas Freight uses the cargo space of Jetstar aircraft to transport cargo domestically. It is also contracted for Jetstar international flights and Air New Zealand flights from the airport. It offers same day/overnight and standby services domestically airport to airport and airport to door from Gold Coast Airport.[35] All cargo services operate from the Freight Terminal. Coast Cargo is a registered Cargo Terminal Operator (CTO) and currently handles Virgin Australia. It is also the agent for Toll Air Express.[36]


Annual passenger traffic at OOL airport. See Wikidata query.
Annual passenger statistics for Gold Coast Airport[37]
Year Domestic International Total Change
1998 1,840,196 14,519 1,854,715 Decrease -2.0%
1999 1,882,696 16,923 1,899,619 Increase 2.4%
2000 1,857,572 28,138 1,885,710 Decrease -0.7%
2001 1,792,051 41,581 1,833,632 Decrease -2.8%
2002 1,887,834 113,127 2,000,961 Increase 9.1%
2003 2,116,525 138,938 2,255,463 Increase 12.7%
2004 2,677,820 136,408 2,814,228 Increase 24.8%
2005 3,232,944 203,523 3,436,467 Increase 22.1%
2006 3,423,358 193,441 3,616,799 Increase 5.2%
2007 3,735,826 210,762 3,946,588 Increase 9.1%
2008 4,183,352 339,144 4,522,496 Increase 14.6%
2009 4,246,436 636,332 4,882,768 Increase 8.0%
2010 4,729,951 786,669 5,516,620 Increase 13.0%
2011 4,581,300 715,863 5,297,163 Decrease -4.0%
2012 4,854,885 824,424 5,679,309 Increase 7.2%
2013 4,902,269 864,905 5,767,174 Increase 1.5%
2014 4,947,853 880,971 5,828,824 Increase 1.1%
2015 5,081,391 942,967 6,024,358 Increase 3.4%
2016 5,317,757 1,093,558 6,411,315 Increase 6.4%
2017 5,398,985 1,080,098 6,479,083 Increase 1.1%
2018 5,461,184 1,025,198 6,486,382 Increase 0.1%
2019 5,543,608 940,995 6,484,603 Decrease 0.0%
2020 1,514,472 207,744 1,722,216 Decrease -73.4%
2021 2,038,812 44,244 2,083,056 Increase 21.0%
2022 5,317,495 391,192 5,708,687 Increase 174.1%
Busiest domestic routes – Gold Coast Airport (2022)[38]
Rank Airport Passengers % Change
1 Sydney 2,365,637 Increase 213.2%
2 Melbourne 2,291,050 Increase 188.3%
3 Adelaide 223,256 Increase 55.9%
4 Canberra 144,345 N/A
Busiest international routes – Gold Coast Airport (year ending 30 December 2023)[39]
Rank Airport Passengers % Change
1 Auckland 305,271 Increase 61.7%
2 Tokyo 118,454 Increase 360.9
3 Christchurch 84,330 Increase 90.5%
4 Wellington 60,921 Increase 93.2%
5 Denpasar 58,779 Increase N/A
6 Singapore 58,149 Decrease 18.7%
7 Kuala Lumpur 52,445 Increase N/A
8 Queenstown 51,820 Increase 78.3%

Public transportation[edit]


The airport is located on the western side of the Gold Coast Highway, the terminal is 300 metres from the highway. The Gold Coast Highway passes through all the coastal suburbs of the city and is the most direct route to most of the major holiday destinations on the Gold Coast. The Pacific Motorway (M1) interchange is 1.5 km south of the airport. The Pacific Motorway connects the city to northern New South Wales, western suburbs and Brisbane City.

Public bus[edit]

All bus services are provided by Kinetic Group.

Airport shuttles[edit]

There are a number of private operators offering transfers between Gold Coast Airport and Brisbane. Scheduled transfers are available for arriving and departing passengers.[42][43]


The Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031 includes an extension of the G:link light rail to the airport, while the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program envisions extending the Gold Coast Line train line to the airport. As of 2019, neither have been approved to begin construction.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

In March 1949, a Lockheed Lodestar aircraft became airborne at Bilinga airstrip for a flight to Archerfield Airport. Before reaching a height of 500 ft (150 m) it stalled and crashed. All 21 occupants died in the crash or the ensuing conflagration. It was Queensland's worst civil aviation accident.[44][45]


The Gold Coast airport received the best airport award for customer experience at the 2018 National Airport Industry Awards hosted by the Australian Airports Association in Brisbane.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YBCG – Gold Coast (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 13 June 2024
  2. ^ Airport traffic data Archived 14 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Airport Traffic Data 1985–86 to 2010–11". Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  4. ^ "About Gold Coast Airport". Gold Coast Airport. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  5. ^ "GCA Airport Master Plan 2017 (pgs.34,128)" (PDF). web-data.qidairports.com.au. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  6. ^ a b "About". Gold Coast Airport. Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Gold Coast Airport History". Gold Coast Airport, Queensland. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  8. ^ "Queensland Airports Limited". Qldairports.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Jetstar increases flights to Cairns – Airline-Hotel-News". Biztravelguru.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  10. ^ Dale Granger (17 August 2010). "Jetstar to slash prices and put on 22 extra flights to Perth, Latest Business & Australian Stock market News". Perth Now. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Jetstar to undercut Queenstown fares by 30%". www.aviationrecord.com. 14 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010.
  12. ^ "Tiger Airways". Tiger Airways. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  13. ^ Creedy, Steve (24 August 2010). "Tiger cuts routes in profit review". The Australian. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  14. ^ "GOLD COAST AIRPORT NAMED AAA MAJOR AIRPORT OF THE YEAR 2010" (PDF). www.qldairports.com.au. 27 October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Gold Coast Airport Joins GC2018". www.goldcoastairport.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Scoot Airlines axes Gold Coast". 2023.
  17. ^ "Bonza to launch 11 new routes with new Gold Coast base". Australian Aviation. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  18. ^ "Bonza reveals the Gold Coast as its Third Base". Travel Weekly. 1 August 2023. Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  19. ^ "Why Jetstar cancelled GC Airports Tokyo flights". 2023.
  20. ^ "Tugun Bypass project – Queensland Department of Main Roads". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  21. ^ Finelli, Marco: Coolangatta Gold Coast – An airport with a golden future, page 55, (Airliner World online Archived 2 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine) September 2005
  22. ^ Tourism takes off at Gold Coast Airport Archived 18 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine Minister for Transport and Regional Services online
  23. ^ Potts, Andrew (12 February 2014). "Instrument landing system to be installed at Gold Coast Airport by June 2015". Gold Coast Bulletin. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  24. ^ "ILS Installation Approval – AirService Australia". AirService Australia. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Terminal Expansion". Gold Coast Airport Latest News. Gold Coast Airport.
  26. ^ Sheehan, Heidi (30 August 2022). "Hundreds of volunteers test the new Gold Coast Airport Terminal in large-scale dress rehearsal". ABC Gold Coast. ABC. ABC. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  27. ^ David Flynn (30 May 2012). "Virgin Australia opens new Gold Coast airport lounge". Australian Business Traveller. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  28. ^ John Walton (3 December 2012). "First pictures of new Qantas Club at Gold Coast". Australian Business Traveller. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  29. ^ "AirAsia X announces return of Gold Coast-Auckland service". airasia newsroom. 7 November 2023. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  30. ^ "Quitting: AirAsia X pulls out of New Zealand - again". NZ Herald. 24 December 2023. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  31. ^ "AirAsia returns to the Gold Coast". 4 December 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  32. ^ Penny Travers (9 May 2022). "Jetstar to fly directly from Canberra to Melbourne, Gold Coast". ABC News.
  33. ^ "Jetstar to resume Gold Coast – Hobart service from Dec 2020".
  34. ^ freight.qantas.com - Freighter schedule retrieved 17 December 2022
  35. ^ "General Aviation & Freight". Gold Coast Airport. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  36. ^ "General Aviation and Freight". Gold Coast Airport – At the Airport. Gold Coast Airport. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  37. ^ "Airport Traffic Data 1985 to 2022". Retrieved 26 October 2023.
  38. ^ "Australian Domestic Airline Activity 2022". Aviation Statistics. Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics. 2022. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  39. ^ "International Airline Activity—Time Series". bitre.gov.au. 8 March 2024. Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  40. ^ Translink (20 January 2014). "705, 777". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  41. ^ Translink (20 January 2014). "761". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  42. ^ "Transport". Gold Coast Airport. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  43. ^ "Link Transfers". Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  44. ^ Courier-Mail – 11 March 1949 Retrieved 5 December 2011
  45. ^ Job, Macarthur. "Horror at Coolangatta." Archived 26 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Flight Safety Australia, via casa.gov.au, November–December 1999, p. 47. Retrieved: 30 November 2011
  46. ^ "Gold Coast Airport takes out top customer experience gong". www.goldcoastairport.com.au. Retrieved 21 December 2019.

External links[edit]