The airport's growth is seen as a key plank in the future of the region's tourism but Greg Roberts says bushland around the facility is home to a small colony of ground parrots - one of only a handful left on the Coast.
The nocturnal parrot thrives in wallum heath, which was once plentiful between Marcoola and Noosa but is now disappearing due to encroaching development and poor habitat management.
Several years ago, the presence of nests near Peregian killed off plans for a multi-million-dollar space theme park.
Mr Roberts said a "once healthy" Sunshine Coast population of about 300 ground parrots had shrunk to fewer than 40, scattered in four habitat areas.
Land management practices within the airport boundary had helped maintain the wallum habitat and was supporting the population.
"Regular slashing and maintenance of heath within the airport appears likely to simulate the effects of fire, preventing woody species taking over the smaller seed and fruit producing plants favoured by the parrots," Mr Roberts said.
The vulnerability of the parrots has been identified in studies by environmental consultancy Ecosmart Ecology, for the Sunshine Coast Airport Masterplan Project.
"Environment Department experts believe the airport population is likely to be the most stable and important on the Sunshine Coast."
Mr Roberts said the only other Queensland population of ground parrots was in the Great Sandy World Heritage area, at Cooloola.
"The big problem for the ground parrot is a $250 million plan to extend the east-west runway at Sunshine Coast Airport," he said.
"This project has been declared a state significant project and fits in nicely with recently announced plans by Liberal National Party heavy
weight Clive Palmer for major new tourist development projects. Palmer has ludicrously insisted that rare birds such as the ground parrot can simply fly away and settle elsewhere.
"According to the airport environmental consultants, the new runway will dissect ground parrot habitats in the north and south of the airport area. Apart from the shrinkage of already small areas of habitat, the birds' ability to fly between those areas could be reduced by increased noise, light and aircraft traffic.
"The Sunshine Coast Airport Masterplan Project's Initial Advice Statement concedes that, in relation to the ground parrot, the runway plan will 'directly impact the availability of habitat or food source'."
In short, the runway extension could lead to the extinction of the Coast's most important surviving population of the parrot.