Wednesday, 1 June 2016

In March we ran a competition for members to win a behind-the-scenes tour of Brisbane Airport. If you invest in Lifetime or our Ready Made options1 (Balanced, Moderate or Aggressive) you have exposure to our infrastructure program, meaning some of your money will be invested in Brisbane Airport.

At QSuper we currently have over $5.8 billion invested in infrastructure assets all around the world. We invest in infrastructure through managers that have the ability to source quality assets and enhance the value of an asset to the benefit of the fund and our members. Brisbane Airport is a good example of this.

Our stake in Brisbane Airport was acquired in August 2007 and is actively managed by our manager, QIC Limited (QIC). QIC controls 25 per cent of Brisbane Airport on behalf of their clients, including QSuper. 

The winners

Airport Tour Group

Brisbane Airport is a suburb in its own right and the largest airport in Australia by land size (2,700 hectares). As part of the tour we drove the airport’s 27 km perimeter road allowing us to see first-hand some of the development work as well get a feel for the airport’s day-to-day operations.

Brisbane Airport Corporation’s Airside Operations Manager, Peter Dunlop, who accompanied us on our tour, explained his team’s daily routine. Some of the more interesting jobs that Peter’s team (which operates across the airport 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) has to perform include:

  • Occasionally removing snakes from the wheels of aircraft (they’re apparently a very warm and cosy places to sleep!)    
  • conducting daily bird counts to ensure that the airport staff know the approximate numbers and locations of birds on site and are able to keep track of them
  • monitoring and reporting on over 3,700 light bulbs a year on the airport grounds including the landing approach lights.

We drove past the large site of the new parallel runway which is located two kilometres west of the existing main runway. The project includes a runway 3.3 kilometres long and 60 metres wide, which will be linked to the terminals and existing system by many kilometres of taxiways, navigational aids, airfield infrastructure and hundreds of hectares of airfield landscaping.

Sand extracted from Moreton Bay was piled onto the site to prepare the ground for construction of the runway and will be left for a four year ground settlement period. In some locations on the site, the sand was initially piled almost two stories high! When complete, the runway will allow the same level of capacity as Hong Kong and Singapore airports.

New parallel runway

Aerial View Brisbane Airport

Overall the tour was a great success and we’re very grateful to Brisbane Airport Corporation for a fantastic day.  It was great to have had the opportunity to share one of our largest infrastructure assets with a few of you.

Don’t forget, if you want to get updates direct from Brisbane Airport Corporation, subscribe to the Brisbane Airport Newsletter to keep up with the latest!

1 The QSuper Socially Responsible option does not invest in Brisbane Airport Corporation Holdings Limited.

The views of the author and those who provide the responses to comments posted on this blog are not necessarily the views of the QSuper Board. We’ve put this information together as general information only and you should get professional advice before relying on this information.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Each of our investment options has a different objective, risk profile, and asset allocation.