Jetstar flight on the runway for take-off at Sunshine Coast Airport.
Jetstar flight on the runway for take-off at Sunshine Coast Airport. Erle Levey

Council chooses new runway construction contract winner

SUNSHINE Coast Council has chosen the winning bidder for construction of a new runway at Sunshine Coast Airport.

But the council is not expected to announce contract details of the major works until next week.

Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project director Ross Ullman told councillors at a special meeting on Thursday five tenders received in November last year had been reduced down to one.

The winning bidder will be tasked with building a 2450m runway and 1400m taxiway as well as two concrete aprons capable of accommodating Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s.

They will also build a larger concrete apron to handle aircraft such as Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s and A350s.

"We got five very high calibre submissions," Mr Ullman said.

He said a range of experts reviewed the content of the tenders.

"We have shortlisted to three and then to two and now we have identified the preferred tenderer.

"We have been into the final stages of contract negotiation."

Mr Ullman said the main issue for the project was the dredging of about 1.1 million cubic metres of sand.

It will be shipped from the Spitfire Channel, between the northern end of Moreton Island and the southern end of Bribie Island, to be pumped ashore to the site.

Mr Ullman said some preliminary work on the beach at Marcoola would begin once turtle-nesting season finished at the end of next month.

He said the dredge would arrive in Australia in about June or July with dredging expected to start at the beginning or July to be completed by late September.

"Once we achieve that window, that is probably the most constraining part of the program under control and from there it is a fairly straightforward process."