Construction has started on a $9.875 million project to upgrade the Port Macquarie Airport Terminal Building.

The upgrade to the terminal building is being funded through a $5 million contribution from the NSW Government under the Restart NSW Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund and $1.25 million from the Australian Government. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will contribute up to $3.625 million to the project.

The current terminal building was constructed in 1994, and the upgrade will double the size of the existing building to cater for future growth in airline services and passenger numbers as the region continues to grow.

The upgraded building will also improve the standard of current passenger facilities and provide an airport experience that supports the region’s standing as a tourist destination of choice.

Mayor, Peta Pinson, was excited that this major project had moved into the construction phase.

“A lot of hard work has occurred to get us to this point, and delivering this important community infrastructure would not have been possible without the strong partnership with the State and Federal Government.”

Airport passenger numbers have doubled over the last decade, and with growth forecast to continue, the terminal building’s new design will provide an improved airport experience for many years to come.

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, welcomed the long awaited start of work on the new terminal.

“I am pleased that we will soon see construction underway on what will be a modern user-friendly airport to cater for the needs of today’s travelling public.

“I know that for the next 12 months or so people will be inconvenienced to some degree while construction is occurring, but I am sure the end result will be worthwhile with a brand new airport experience,” Ms Williams said.

Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said good air services were well recognised as a prerequisite for strong regional economic growth, and the upgrade would provide a good boost to the local economy.

“More attractive facilities will help boost tourist numbers, while more efficient facilities at the airport will also improve connectivity for business people,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“I’m pleased I was able to get $1.25 million from the Commonwealth to support this important upgrade.”

The upgraded terminal building will include an expanded passenger check-in area; expanded departures and arrivals areas providing enhanced passenger and visitor facilities; expanded passenger, carry-on and checked baggage security screening areas; expanded and improved baggage claim area and facilities, including a baggage claim carousel; and upgraded utilities and services, including air conditioning.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

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