The Wagner family has shown up aviation infrastructure development in other parts of the country by building an airport in the Queensland town of Toowoomba within the space of just 19 months.

The Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport is Australia’s first privately funded public airport, the first public airport to be built in the country in nearly half a century, and one of the world’s greenest airports.

The development covers 300 hectares and features a 2.87-kilometre runway capable of handling aircraft up to the size of a 747, as well as an 8,000 square metre terminal facility. The airport itself will serve as the anchor tenant of the 800-hectare Wellcamp Business Park, an affiliated project which also being developed by the Wagners.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the project has been its extremely rapid delivery, with construction work commencing in April 2013 and concluding by October 2014.

The Wagners’ ownership of the land for the project – a quarry first acquired in 1994– greatly expedited the development and construction process.

“Our ownership of the quarry used for the airport site was a big part of the reason that the project proceeded as swiftly as did, since it avoided the need for a tender process or contracting,” said project manager and Wagners director Denis Wagner.

The construction process was further facilitated by the site’s status as a quarry, which meant raw materials for the project could be sourced from its immediate vicinity.

“We sourced 10 million tonnes of rock required for the construction of the airport and its runway from quarries located on the same landholding,” said Wagner. “This greatly reduced both the cost and environmental impact of the project, removing the need for a huge number of truck journeys to convey materials to the site from a distance.”

Sustainability was another outstanding feature of the development process, with the Wagner Group’s own award-winning Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC) used extensively to build the airport in order to dramatically shrink its carbon footprint.

“EFC is essentially a green concrete that uses a geopolymer binder made from fly ash and blast furnace slag instead of ordinary cement,” said Wagner. “This greatly reduces carbon emissions related to production – by as much as 80 to 90 per cent compared to ordinary Portland cement.”

Toowoomba airport

An artist’s impression of Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.

According to Wagner, in addition to being one of the lowest carbon concretes in the world, EFC is also one of the most resilient, with some of the highest levels of sulphate and chloride resistance.

The copious usage of the material has made the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport one of the greenest on the planet.

“More than 30,000 cubic metres of EFC was used to build the airport, in the taxiways, apron and runway, saving over 6,600 tonnes in carbon emissions,” Wagner said. “This is great news for the environment.”