Managing Director's Message
Brisbane Airport is the Gateway to Queensland. It is not an island operating on its own. It is part of a growing 'New World City' and a thriving state. Millions of passengers use the terminals each year - 24 hours a day, seven days a week - to connect with people and places across the world. More than 17,000 people work at the airport each day and thousands more jobs are indirectly linked to its operation and growth. Brisbane Airport is affected by what is happening in its city and state and vice versa. This has never been more evident than in the past year.
The first six months of FY11 proved strong. We saw positive, substantial and stable growth in passenger numbers across both domestic and international markets. Our good spirits were temporarily dampened however, when the New Year rolled around. The second half of FY11 saw floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and ash clouds, in addition to safety concerns for Tiger Airways. Europe and the United States economies continue to struggle out of financial crisis. Fortunately, Brisbane Airport remained open and fully operational through the duration of the floods, demonstrating the reliability and durability of our critical infrastructure. Through the mayhem, the strength and resilience of aviation has also shone through these challenges. As Queensland showed it could not be beaten, Brisbane Airport carried more than 20 million passengers in the last financial year alone. This is a record for the airport, and the encouraging growth is welcome, with the international passenger market increasing by 3.6% on last year and the domestic market by 6%. I see this as a promising sign that Brisbane Airport, like Queensland, has shown it can withstand incredibly difficult challenges.
Much of this growth is the result of additional capacity and new services, which have been introduced by our airline partners at Brisbane Airport this year. In November we welcomed and celebrated China Southern's inaugural flight from Brisbane to Guangzhou direct. It has been so well received that China Southern is increasing its Guangzhou-Brisbane flights from three to four per week, as well as adding Beijing to the flight route later this year. FY11 also saw Strategic Airlines launch Brisbane-Phuket services and Aeropelican begin Brisbane-Narrabri services. The commitment of our airline partners to Brisbane and Queensland as a destination shows their confidence in the region's tourism and industrial economies.
To keep up with growing demand we must invest in infrastructure - roads, terminals, runways and other aeronautical facilities. We do this with care, recognising Brisbane Airport does not stand alone, but is a major part of the city of Brisbane and, as the Gateway to Queensland for our international and domestic visitors, it is also the welcoming statement for our state. For this reason, we are focused on working with our stakeholders from industry, government, the community and our business partners in order to improve Brisbane Airport in a way that is reflective of our region and is cognisant of our region's needs. We already do this through community information sessions, community working groups and integrated planning forums with government, however this year saw some additions made to our stakeholder engagement program.
With plans for our first Property Master Plan to be delivered in December 2011, we have seen an ideal opportunity to engage with business, industry and government on ways to create a plan for airport property that is a reflection of Queensland. The airport is a critical piece of infrastructure for our state and it is therefore essential we work with our partners in local, state and federal government, along with the best planning and design minds and local community, to ensure Brisbane Airport is the impressive calling card our region deserves. BAC recently held its first Brisbane Airport Atelier - a design charette - bringing together approximately 80 participants across these industries, which will put us in good stead to deliver on this objective.
In July we had the pleasure of hosting the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, who launched the Brisbane Airport Experience Centre. The Centre is open seven days a week and provides people with information on the airport's operations and developments. We think the most helpful part of the Centre is the interactive Noise and Flight Path Information Software. This software is the first of its kind in Australia, and provides people with the opportunity to see whether Brisbane flight paths currently affect their suburb during certain times of the day, week and season and also shows expected flight paths in 2020, with and without the New Parallel Runway. All the content, including the Noise and Flight Path Information Software was also launched online as the Online Brisbane Airport Experience Centre in March this year. The 7,000 people through the physical centre in the past year and 8,000 visitors to the online centre in its first six months of operation is testament that people find this information valuable.
It enables them to be informed about what is happening at their airport and empowers them to make educated decisions regarding their living situation, especially when people are considering buying new properties. At BAC we are committed to providing our community with this valuable information, and will continue to build on this concept in the future.
As we look to the future at BAC we are doing so with a clear vision in mind. This year we restructured the company in order to position ourselves better to achieve that vision: to be world-best and the preferred choice for passengers, airlines, business and the community. How do we intend to achieve this? Through collaborative relationships, innovation and service excellence.
BAC is committed to connecting Queensland and connecting with Queensland. Together we succeed and prosper.