Brisbane Airport is set to spend $960 million accelerating its commercial developments, including adding 6,000 solar panels.
The outlay will also include developing 190 hectares of its land holdings, which it said would help it “diversify” its business.
General manager Martin Ryan told the AFR, “We invest very large sums of money in building long-term infrastructure. That requires us to look at long-term returns.
“We’re a little bit different to a lot of property developers. We build and hold for the long term. So we’re quite unique in that regard. We very much look at the long-term opportunity and work backwards from that.”
The spend equates to almost half its total $2 billion portfolio, and it’s hoped new solar panels will account for 10 per cent of the airport’s needs.
It comes a week after Brisbane Airport announced it was proposing to build a new third terminal to meet predictions of a huge growth in travel demand.
The airport is already low on space with the current two terminals, according to the airport’s head of public affairs, Stephen Beckett, and with travel lockdowns from the pandemic lifting and the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, demand is only set to grow further.
The business has estimated that passenger numbers at the airport will be around 50 million by 2040.
“We really need that extra capacity to make sure that Queenslanders and people visiting Queensland can get to the destinations they need,” Beckett said.
“We know that we’re going to see the number of people using Brisbane Airport more than double between now and 2040.”
The airport has suggested that the new terminal will be built between the two existing runways.
Australian Aviation also reported in May how DHL would open a new “sustainable” $17 million facility at Brisbane Airport by 2023.
The new 4,880-square metre facility will accommodate the growing demand for cold chain perishables and support the growth of general cargo in Queensland, the services company said in a statement. The multi-million-dollar investment will span over 10 years.
DHL said the Brisbane Airport location was chosen as it offers airside access and is close to the Port of Brisbane.
“The expansion of our facilities at Brisbane airport reflects the tremendous growth in exports, especially perishable food,” said George Lawson, managing director, DHL Global Forwarding Australia.
“Brisbane’s economy is predicted to surge by 2031 and with this new facility, we are ready to support our customers’ growth.”
Perishable food delivery has seen a major uptick in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and aviation companies have been quick to respond.