Brisbane airport to get a new runway

The Australian federal government has approved an A$1 billion ($836 million) project to build a second runway at Brisbane Airport. Estimates are that the increase in traffic generated by the new runway will create nearly 3,000 jobs.

Transport minister Mark Vaile has said that within the next 30 years, the number of passengers using the airport will have grown by about 30 million people annually. He said the new runway will run parallel to the existing runway and will cut down on aircraft noise by allowing planes to land simultaneously over Moreton Bay, instead of over the city of Brisbane at night.

The Government says it will take at least eight years for the second runway to be built. The Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) has welcomed the development. A BAC representative said that the second runway was needed to cater for huge increases in domestic and international air traffic through Brisbane.

However, Kevin Rudd, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said the decision would create a huge noise menace for local residents. Brisbane is Rudd's constituency, and he has been campaigning against a second runway for several years.