Newcastle Airport has welcomed an announcement by the NSW State Government of an $11.1 million grant for the expansion of the airport terminal.
The expansion is consistent with the Defence-approved Newcastle Airport Master Plan and gives certainty to the future growth of services to and from the Airport.
The grant is slated to pay for customs and immigration facilities, in order to bring international flights to and from Newcastle.
Newcastle Airport CEO, Paul Hughes, said that it's fantastic news for Newcastle Airport and but also for the people of the Hunter region.
“Receiving this funding is a real game changer; the expansion will provide the space for us to grow our domestic services and give us the capability to move into the short-haul international market.” Paul said
The grant is part of the Hunter Infrastructure Investment Fund, specifically for infrastructure development in the Hunter region.
Earlier this year Port Stephens Council approved the DA for the expansion of the airport, the $11.1 million will enable the Airport to move forward with stage one of the expansion.
Manager Aviation Business Development, David Nye, said that while the terminal expansion is an obvious coup for travellers, it also has a great flow on effect for businesses in the region.
“From the start of construction a range of local suppliers will be involved, and upon delivery employment opportunities will become available in a range of aviation services such as ground staff, flight crew, and hopefully customs and immigration staff,” David said.
“We hope the expansion will be able to facilitate more flights to existing and new markets, improving connectivity for business in the Hunter. We will be discussing with the airlines future opportunities for airline lounges as our customer feedback shows this as a point of interest from our travellers.”
Indirectly, increased visitation to the region could also boost employment opportunities in tourism.
During the 2011/12 year, Newcastle Airport saw annual passenger numbers of 1,191,944.