A $4.5 million expansion of Bendigo Airport in Victoria will create jobs and help keep up with the number of travellers coming to and from the region.

The Federal Government is funding the expansion of the existing airport terminal, including the addition of new departure and waiting lounges, expanded car parking facilities, a security screening area, a baggage claim, an expanded café and restroom facilities.

The project is expected to generate almost $23 million in local economic activity and support 49 jobs during the construction period alone, boosting Bendigo’s recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once complete, the airport’s expanded operations will support a further 19 new jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said the airport’s expanded operations would facilitate greater economic activity in the region.

“Bendigo Airport is a vital connection for so many travellers, helping locals in and around Bendigo reach their destination of choice but also facilitating the arrival of visitors to the area,” Mr Joyce said.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen greater numbers of Australians holidaying in our regions. 

“These upgrades to Bendigo Airport will facilitate more flights to and from the city, providing a boost for local tourism operators, supporting jobs and driving increased economic activity.

Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, welcomed the expansion, which is set to be delivered by 2023.

“I commend council, Bendigo Airport and the broader Bendigo community on their vision for this vital expansion,” Ms Henderson said.

“Once operational, the airport will generate a large boost in jobs, deliver tourism and business travel opportunities to the region, and increase local economic output each year.

“This builds on the Coalition Government’s investments in Bendigo Airport including $5 million to construct a new runway to suit larger aircraft, $465,000 to expand the airport’s passenger transport apron and construct a run-up area and $300,000 to build a helicopter stand and a fuel truck parking area for emergency services.”

City of Greater Bendigo Chief Executive Officer, Craig Niemann, said the funding commitment would breathe new life into the airport and the local region.

“This is fantastic news for our region. By expanding the airport terminal, we are in a great position to welcome more flights, from more locations and bigger planes, which will drive an increase in tourism to Greater Bendigo and central Victoria,” Mr Niemann said.

“This project will also generate new local jobs, both during construction and when the expanded terminal and business park are operational, and create exciting new investment opportunities.

Construction on Bendigo Airport’s expansion is set to start in 2022 and be completed by 2023.

The Bendigo City Council is contributing $985,000 towards the redevelopment of Bendigo Airport.

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