Brisbane Airport flags changes to new pick-up area

A map of the new pick-up area at Brisbane Domestic Airport.
A map of the new pick-up area at Brisbane Domestic Airport.

Brisbane Airport has conceded its new pick-up area for arrivals is too far from the terminal and it is working on a "compromise" to change it after a backlash from passengers.

The new pick-up area opened last month as part of the $350 million upgrade of the domestic terminal but has been the subject of a slew of complaints, mostly about the 400 metre walk from the arrivals terminal to the pick-up area.

Head of Corporate Relations at Brisbane Airport Rachel Crowley said the airport would be making an announcement in the next few days about changes to the pick-up area and brain storming meetings were held yesterday.

"With the best intentions in the world it seems we didn't get it quite right this time," she told 612 ABC Brisbane.

"... We beg everyone's patience in the mean time, we know it's been a difficult adjustment, we accept that and we want to try to get a good solution."

Converting the ground floor of the long-term car park into a free pick-up area was a "major" part of the discussions on the changes that could be made.

Ms Crowley said the managers of the airport had inherited a flawed design because it was "almost like a cul-de-sac" and constrained traffic flow.

About 32,000 vehicles a day drive to the domestic terminal and 10 per cent of those were picking up passengers so the motorists dropping off people about to catch a flight were the airport's priority.

Ms Crowley said it was "obvious" the airport wanted to give passengers picking up passengers a free option.

"When we first initiated all of these changes our main priority was to try and get the drop-off system to work more smoothly," she said.

"If people had been dropping off over recent years about the peak times they would have confronted quite serious traffic issues and that's the most time constrained, the people catching a flight.

"And we knew that was probably our biggest issues and if we could somehow address the traffic problems and make drop-off more smooth we would be solving our biggest traffic problem at the airport.

"So we wanted to separate pick-up and drop-off to make that happen."

Ms Crowley said the main complaint from passengers had been the length and complexity of the walk from the domestic terminal to the pick-up area.

Passengers have to walk up an escalator, cross an overpass and catch a lift or take stairs down one level before walking along a long-term car park to the pick-up area.

She said the airport had not anticipated the demand for the pick-up area and there were a lot more cars using it than the airport had forecast which was causing traffic jams at the entrance and exits.

"We recognise people are not happy with the solution that we came up with," she said.

"We are now trying to find a compromise and a compromise that will work for pick-up but won't take us all the way back to where we were with drop-off."

This story Brisbane Airport flags changes to new pick-up area first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.