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. In addition, Air New Zealand serves the city seasonally, with three weekly return flights from Maroochydore to Auckland.

Sunshine Coast Airport is situated in 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.[citation needed]

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] 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.[3]


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 aircraft movements of around 87,000 per annum, has a capacity of 900,000 passenger movements per annum.[4] In 2009, the airport handled 916,845 passengers making it the 15th busiest airport in Australia.

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 have committed to operating the services until at least 2017.[7]

As of 2016, the only scheduled domestic routes are to southern state capitals, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide commencing 30 September 2016. These are serviced by Jetstar, QantasLink and Virgin Australia. There are no scheduled flights north or to any other destinations in Queensland, although surveys have shown a high demand for flights north.[8]

A total of 244,708 passengers used the flight services at Sunshine Coast Airport between December 2015 and February 2016.


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 there are no aerobridges, and passengers must take a short walk on the tarmac to reach their aircraft.

There are a few food and shopping outlets within the terminal for passengers. Each of the three 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.

Sunbus' route 622 Sunshine Plaza to Noosa Junction serves the airport.[9]

The airport shuttle service is run by several companies offering 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.


A Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) Boeing 737-800 about to touch down at Sunshine Coast Airport on runway 18

The airport currently has two runways. The longer main runway, 18/36, handles the jets (737, A320) 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.[4] Use of wide body aircraft such as Airbus A330 and Boeing 777, 787 would allow direct flights to Southeast Asia, China and Hawaii.[10]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air New Zealand Seasonal: Auckland[11]
Alliance Airlines Mining Charter: Brisbane, Emerald
Jetstar Airways Adelaide,[12] Melbourne, Sydney
QantasLink operated by Cobham Sydney[13]
Summer Seasonal: Melbourne (begins 16 December 2016)[14]
Virgin Australia Melbourne, Sydney


Busiest routes out of Sunshine Coast Airport (Year ending June 2015)[15]
Rank Airport Passengers 2013-14 Passengers 2014-15  % Change
1 Sydney 472,200 458,200 Decrease3.0
2 Melbourne 420,100 379,400 Decrease9.7
3 Auckland 8,026 10,228 Increase27.4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YBSU – Sunshine Coast (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 3 March 2016
  2. ^ "Airport History". Sunshine Coast Airport. 
  3. ^ Maroochydore name change
  4. ^ a b "About Sunshine Coast Airports" (PDF). Sunshine Coast Regional Council. January 2012. 
  5. ^ "NZ flights to start at $149". Sunshine Coast Daily. 23 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Air New Zealand flights returning in 2013" (PDF). Sunshine Coast Regional Council. November 2012. 
  7. ^ Auckland – Sunshine Coast Direct Flights Sunshine Cost Council
  8. ^ Report confirms demand for flights north from the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Council 17 December 2013
  9. ^ Route 622 timetable TransLink 7 July 2014
  10. ^ Master Plan Sunshine Coast Airport September 2007
  11. ^ "Air NZ's alliance with Virgin Australia to Sunshine Coast - Scoop News". Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  12. ^ Moore, Tony (14 May 2016). "Adelaide latest stop for Australia's fastest-growing airport". Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "Smarter flying sees Qantas back to the Sunshine Coast". Qantas. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "QantasLink to start Melbourne-Sunshine Coast flights". Retrieved 20 August 2016. 
  15. ^ Domestic aviation activity Annual 2014-15, Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development

External links[edit]