UPDATE @ 9.00AM | Emotional scenes at the Gold Coast Airport this morning, with the first Victorian passengers reuniting with family.
The first flight from Melbourne touched down a short time ago, welcomed by airport staff and lots of celebrations.
Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton told myGC it’s such an exiting morning.
“Oh my god, honestly 250 days but who’s counting. Everyone’s just so happy, so relieved, I’ve seen more tears this morning, people seeing each other for the first time in such a long time.
“We had the water cannon outside, it’s a mix of sheer happiness and relief for our team as well. This has been a long time coming, and again the emotion, not just from our team but the people getting off that flight.
“For everyone; the Gold Coast, for Sydney and Melbourne – it’s been a long time,” Ms Charlton said.
The first flight from Sydney will touch down at 9.30am.
EARLIER @ 8.30AM | The first flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast has just touched down at the airport, ready to be welcomed by emotional families and excited airport staff.
The Jetstar flight passed over Currumbin a short time ago, while 1029 Hot Tomato’s Galey, Emily Jade and Christo broadcast live on the foreshore.
There were cheers all round as the watched the plane arrive!
The Gold Coast Airport has put on a show for the arriving flights, with skydivers shooting down a short time ago, flying the Aussie flag and ‘welcome back’ messages.
Airport CEO Chris Mills told Nine it’s such an exciting morning.
Meanwhile, Queensland Police are celebrating at the road borders with party cake! Thanking the SES and officers for their work over the past eight months.
— Bianca Stone (@Bianca_Stone) November 30, 2020
EARLIER @6.15AM | The Gold Coast is rolling out the red carpet, to finally welcome back Sydneysiders and Victorians into the Sunshine State today.
Official borders came down at 1.00am overnight, with police waving motorists through checkpoints after a long eight months of rigorous border pass checks.
Drivers clapped and wooed as they cruised on through, finally allowed back in Queensland with ease.
— Nick Kelly (@njkelly9) November 30, 2020
“It’s wonderful news- Red Carpet Day, really, for the Gold Coast.
“We’re coming back! For Australians can come back to their second home, which is the Gold Coast,” the Mayor said.
The Police Minister Mark Ryan is at the road border checkpoints this morning, telling the ABC he’s very excited that the successful police operation has now come to an end.
But he’s warned that if the borders have to go back up, police stand ready to be able to do it very quickly.
The excitement is back at our airport this morning as well, with many airline staff now back in a job.
Senior Pilot Captain Guy Proctor from Jetstar, is now flying the first plane from the Gold Coast to Sydney, and told Nine it’s great to be back at work.
“It’s wonderful to be back, see so many of our Gold Coast based crew and staff.
“And we’re really looking forward to taking a whole plane load full of people to Sydney to see their friends at family,” Captain Proctor said.
The first flight from Melbourne arrives at 8.25am, while the first from Sydney arrives at 9.35am.
Back to the road borders which are still bumper to bumper this morning, as traffic delays continue to build.
While the checkpoints aren’t operational anymore, the concrete barriers are still in place, due to come down tonight.
It’s causing holdups for morning commuters, with the M1 limited to one lane through the Tugun stretch.
Delays were about 3 kilometres back at 6.15am.