Armidale Regional Airport’s $10.5 million terminal expansion is officially open for business.
The new area features floor-to-ceiling windows, 48 sky lights, phone charging ports and free WiFi – ready to be enjoyed by more than 140,000 travellers each year.
And that number is expected to grow, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said at the official opening on Monday.
“These upgrades will support 200,000 visitors boarding 4,500 flights in less than a decade,” he said.
“Investment in regional air infrastructure is essential not only to give visitors an excellent first impression, but to attract further investment in our regional centres and encourage new air services to service our communities.”
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the expansion was a step forward toward a greater plan for our region.
“Businesses with a good plan get ahead and the businesses with no plan go nowhere,” Mr Joyce said while in Armidale on Monday.
“We have a plan for Armidale … building on the strengths that we have.
“Our plan reaches all the way to places such as China, the Middle East … that money we can get by connecting ourselves to international markets flows back to the city of Armidale.
“To make this city an absolute hub and a centre of excellence for agriculture … that is part of our plan.”
To make this city an absolute hub and a centre of excellence for agriculture … that is part of our plan.Barnaby Joyce
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said the airport has come a long way since the first plane landed in 1919.
In fact, this year marks 70 years since the airport was established.
Mr Murray said the expansion was a significant milestone for council and the entire region.
“We really need to thank Barnaby Joyce and Adam Marshall for their tireless efforts in getting the money for this building,” he said.
“While all this construction was going on we still had all of the staff who had to work around it.
“I’d really like to thank all those people for their patience and support.”
Mr Murray also thanked Andrew Murat, Armidale Regional Councillor and Chairman of the Airport Users Group, for his “tireless” work getting the upgrade to take-off.