The Road Ahead Sampler : October 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 15 QLD INTERVIEW | LIFESTYLE OCT/NOV 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD to take on her current role, which encompasses responsibility for BAC's four primary business units of aeronautical, retail, property and car parking. She also manages a lease area of 2700 hectares where 420 businesses operate and 22,000 people work most days of the week. It's a suburb in its own right, and Australia's third largest airport, with more than 21.8 million passengers each year. With the number of workers expected to top 50,000 by 2029, and passenger numbers also forecast to double by 2034, Brisbane Airport will invest $3.3 billion over the next decade to build critical airport infrastructure. Projects include a new parallel runway (one of Australia's largest infrastructure projects), new car parks and access facilities, terminal expansions, road upgrades, new aprons and aeronautical facilities, and a number of new commercial buildings. Julieanne described the parallel RELATIONSHIPS KEY TO SUCCESS Julieanne Alroe is one of only a handful of women in the world to run a privatised airport. And while she's obviously chalked up many achievements since she took over Brisbane Airport Corporation five years ago, she's most proud of the relationships that have been built with governments and the community. "Because we're administered federally, we've always had pretty a pretty good relationship with the Federal Government," Julieanne said. "But the state and city governments are cooperative relationships, and I think we've made great strides in that area. We work very well together. "I also think there is a lot of trust and support in the community, which is not always the case with airports. We are transparent and open about issues such as aircraft noise and we're intent on making it better, without pretending it's going to go away completely. "Learning how the airport operated wasn't the big challenge for me when I came to back to Brisbane. I've been 33 years in this game so I figured that out pretty quickly. The big thing was the networks, the local politics, and getting to know the Brisbane business community." One thing for certain, Julieanne is firmly imbedded in that community. She currently holds board positions with the Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Limited, Australia Trade Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, Urban Futures Brisbane, and the Queensland Theatre Company. She is also the Chapter Chair of Creative Partnerships Australia, a Member of the Council of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce QLD, and a Queensland State Advisory Council Member for the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). Flights over the city at night should reduce, greatly diminishing noise runway project, which started in 2012 and is due for completion in 2020, as 'complex', but one that will greatly diminish noise associated with night flights into and out of Brisbane. "Aircraft noise is always an issue with airports, and I never take it for granted how people will react to it because it's a very personal thing," Julieanne said. "I grew up right beside the runway at Hendra, and I've lived under flight paths most of my life. I rarely 'hear' it, but I understand that for other people, it can be devastating. "The wonderful thing about the new runway is it will be what's technically called a 'wide space parallel system', which means both it and the existing runway will operate independently, with flights landing and taking off over Moreton Bay at the same time. "Flights over the city at night should reduce, greatly diminishing noise." Other major projects continue apace. The new nine-story carpark is complete, along with the new first level walkway connecting it to the domestic terminal. Julieanne said she was proud of the façade, which features a 5000sq m kinetic artwork. Viewed from the exterior, the carpark's eastern side appears to ripple fluidly as the wind activates 250,000 suspended aluminium panels, which are etched with the ripples of the nearby Brisbane River. "That's the sort of thing we're trying to do here at the airport, as well as keeping it safe and efficient," Julieanne said. "Instead of having nine stories of concrete, we have this beautiful moving artwork." It's inspired her approach to the redevelopment of the international terminal's arrival and departure spaces. With airport interiors having become 'generic', she's put together a team of local and international designers to pull together a blueprint for Brisbane that will be sophisticated and subtropical, while informal and 'a little bit cheeky'. "The concept we've come up with is the 'outdoor room'. We have these lovely big windows in our terminal, so there's plenty of light. We'll bring the rest in -- greenery, water, local stone, relaxed furniture. Combined with a public art program, we're convinced people will say 'wow'." At the same time, efforts continue to make check-in, security and other services as efficient and fast as possible ("we're working with Customs on a trial of self-service outbound now to speed things up"), reduce queues ("no-one likes those") -- and above all ensure the safety of passengers and workers. It's enough to make the average person's head spin, but for Julieanne, it's a 'magic time of life'. "My son's grown and has left home. It's just me and my husband. I'm in the prime of life, and I have the time, support and experience to make a difference," she said. "It's wonderful to be able to contribute. Plus I have a great PA -- everything is possible because of her."