Our History

Since QAL acquired Gold Coast Airport in 1998, we have achieved significant milestones.

1998
  • Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd acquired 99-year airport lease from the Federal Government on 28 May 1998
2003
  • Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) is formed as part of corporate reconstruction of the shareholding of Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd, assuming 100% ownership of Gold Coast Airport
2005
  • QAL acquired 100% ownership of both Townsville Airport Pty Limited and Mount Isa Airport Pty Limited on 15 March 2005
2007
  • QAL launched Australia’s newest aviation business park, the Northern Australian Aerospace Centre of Excellence (NAACEX)
  • QAL completed a runway extension at Gold Coast Airport, taking the runway to 2500m and opening the airport to wide-bodied aircraft.  AirAsia X was the first low cost long-haul airline to begin direct international services, commencing direct services to Kuala Lumpur
  • Gold Coast Airport named Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation – Low Cost Airport of the Year
2008
  • Gold Coast Airport named the Low-Cost Airline Congress – Airport of the Year
  • Gold Coast Airport won the Routes airport marketing award
2009
  • QAL assisted the purchasing consortium of Cairns and Mackay Airports (North Queensland Airports Pty Ltd) during the sale process from the Queensland Government; the North Queensland Airports consortium appointed QAL to provide special airport services through a technical services agreement for 12 months
2010
  • QAL celebrated the opening of the new $100 million passenger terminal redevelopment at Gold Coast Airport
  • Gold Coast Airport named Australia’s Major Airport of the Year at the Australian Airports Association (AAA) Aviation Excellence Awards
  • Gold Coast Airport awarded Major Airport of the Year by the Australian Airports Association
  • QAL welcomed 6.9 million passengers through its four airports in FY10
2011
  • Gold Coast Airport named Best Regional Airport (Asia/Pacific) by Skytrax World Airport Awards
  • Gold Coast Airport awarded Staff Service Excellence (Asia/Pacific) by Skytrax World Airport Awards
  • GCA welcomed its first canine team member, Joe, to assist in bird mitigation at airport
  • Gold Coast and Townsville airports established Community Aviation Consultation Groups (CACGs)
  • QAL welcomed 7.3 million passengers through its four airports in FY11
2012
  • QAL acquired 100% ownership of Longreach Airport Pty Limited
  • Qantas returned to the Gold Coast and opened a Qantas Lounge
  • Scoot commenced direct Gold Coast – Singapore services
  • Virgin Australia opened a Lounge at Gold Coast Airport
  • QAL welcomed 7.2 million passengers through its four airports in FY12
2013
  • Gold Coast Airport welcomed the arrival of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to land at the airport
  • QAL’s inaugural Chairman, Jim Tolhurst, stepped down after 15 years in the role
  • QAL welcomed 7.7 million passengers through its four airports in FY13
2014
  • QAL awarded Airports Council International Asia-Pacific gold award for Human Resources Excellence
  • QAL appointed Annabelle Chaplain as Chairman
2015
  • Gold Coast Airport won Best Regional Airport Australia/Pacific at the Skytrax World Airport Awards
  • QAL’s inaugural Managing Director, Dennis Chant stepped down after 16 years in the role
  • QAL appointed Chris Mills as CEO and Marion Charlton as Gold Coast Airport COO
2016
  • Federal Government approved Major Development Plan for Project LIFT (Let’s Invest for Tomorrow) terminal redevelopment at GCA
  • QAL launched annual Community Benefit Fund
  • Instrument Landing System (ILS) Major Development Plan approved by the Federal Government
  • QAL purchased Border Park raceway and Wollemi sites, near Gold Coast Airport, for future development
  • Gold Coast Airport opened a three-storey commercial building, Ivy Pearce, in the airport precinct
  • Solar installation project completed at Longreach Airport, involving installation of 396 solar panels on the roof of terminal building
  • Wildlife proof fencing around Longreach Airport perimeter completed
  • QAL welcomed 8 million passengers through its four airports in FY16
2017
  • Gold Coast Airport achieved Level 1 accreditation under the Airports Council International’s (ACI) airport carbon accreditation program
  • Gold Coast Airport named Best Regional Airport Australia/Pacific at Skytrax World Airport Awards
  • Gold Coast Airport signed on as an official partner for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
  • Gold Coast Airport received approval from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to proceed with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) installation, after an appeal of the government’s approval was lodged by protest groups in 2016
  • Gold Coast Airport Master Plan received Federal Government approval
  • $3.5 million car park upgrade completed in Mount Isa, including installation of 820 solar panels
  • QAL welcomed 8.2 million passengers through its four airports in FY17
  • Townsville Airport achieved Level 2 accreditation under the Airports Council International Airport Carbon Accreditation program
2018
  • Gold Coast and Townsville airports welcomed athletes, officials, VIPs and spectators for the 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • $86 million airside upgrade at Gold Coast Airport completed, involving construction of new apron and taxiway
  • Longreach and Mount Isa airports achieved Level 1 accreditation under the Airports Council International’s (ACI) airport carbon accreditation program
  • Gold Coast Airport received Federal Government approval for hotel Major Development Plan
  • Goldie, the official mascot for Gold Coast Airport was launched
  • Gary and Tink the therapy dogs joined the Gold Coast and Townsville teams respectively, assisting passengers who need emotional support before flying
  • Gold Coast Airport won Australian Airports Association award for customer service
  • Mount Isa Airport achieved Level 2 accreditation under the Airports Council International Airport Carbon Accreditation program
2019
  • Gold Coast Airport achieved Level 2 accreditation under the Airports Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program
  • Construction commenced on a $50 million Rydges-branded hotel at Gold Coast Airport, which is a milestone in the development and activation of the precinct
  • Gold Coast Airport’s Instrument Landing System (ILS) was switched on in February
  • Gold Coast Airport was voted Best Regional Airport in the Australia Pacific region for the fourth time at the Skytrax World Airport Awards
  • Construction commenced on Gold Coast Airport’s southern terminal expansion project
  • Longreach Airport achieved Level 2 accreditation under the Airports Council International Airport Carbon Accreditation program