Infrastructure projects at Townsville Airport are moving ahead including upgrades to security screening zones, and water and sewage assets.
The first project, involving the security screening zone, check-in areas and adjoining retail space, has been awarded to local company Core Developments NQ following an extensive tender process.
Thanks to a $9.15 million Federal Government grant, this project will create 17 construction jobs directly and take about six months to complete.
The project includes a reconfiguration of the security screening area to make it about three times larger and accommodate the Federal Government’s enhanced security screening requirements.
The second project, a $6.4 million water and sewer upgrade, will be funded by the airport drawing down on a Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan. These works are due to start outside the terminal next month.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO, Chris Mills, said the works were an important step forward.
“These projects are progressing at a time when airports around the country have been forced to put plans on hold,” Mr Mills said.
“The security screening project will see Townsville passengers using the latest technology, ahead of many other airports in the country. When this equipment is in place, passengers will not have to remove laptops or tablets from bags when going through security screening.”
Mr Mills said the water and sewer works are the foundation for future growth and development of the Townsville Airport.
The water supply, fire system and sewer works are expected to be completed by May next year. Townsville-based CES Civil has been engaged to undertake the works, employing about 20 contractors.
Mr Mills said the infrastructure projects were starting while passenger numbers at Townsville Airport continued to be well below desired levels.
“The airport operated at about 37 per cent of pre-COVID-19 passenger capacity in August. Last year it dropped to as low as 10 per cent in May,” Mr Mills said.
“We know vaccinations will be critical to travel resuming.
“Activity will pick up when restrictions ease, but we are still some months away from that time. Even then our business recovery will take time because we have been significantly affected by travel restrictions which have been in place for 18 months now.”
Herbert MP, Phillip Thompson, said it was great to see that work on the security screening infrastructure project had begun to improve the experience for passengers as well as enhance security.
“There’s nothing more important when it comes to air travel than safety, which is the primary reason we’ve provided this funding through the Regional Airports Screening Infrastructure program,” Mr Thompson said.
“With this project we’re also seeing the added benefit of a better experience for airport users, who’ll have a more seamless journey through check-in and security.
“The project will also link in with the airport’s longer-term redevelopment plans, which I know a lot of frequent flyers are looking forward to.”
Core Developments NQ Managing Director, Stuart Cunningham, said the security screening infrastructure upgrade was an exciting project for his team, having delivered projects in the aviation industry in the region for the past 14 years.
“It is an area of our business that we are extremely passionate about and we really look forward to working on projects like these that are both complex and rewarding,” Mr Cunningham said.
Modern security screening equipment will be installed when the infrastructure works are complete, including two body scanners and CT x-ray systems for carry on and check-in baggage.
Departing passengers who are being screened might experience some delays while works are underway.