Byron Bay Airport

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Airport upgrade commenced

The construction of the Apron Extension Project is well underway for the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport with the completion of works expected in early February 2013.

The project includes the construction of a new taxiway, an extension to the existing aircraft parking bays and associated drainage and services installation. This will allow for more flights, more often, for business and leisure travellers to the Northern Rivers region.

Airport Manager Neil Weatherson said this week, “The expansion of the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport will help fuel the economic growth of the region for business and tourism and cater for the steady increase in passenger numbers that has been experienced in recent years.”

The project is part of a long term plan for the upgrade of the entire airport that has already seen a refurbishment of the airport cafe, security screening and baggage collection areas. Future works include an expansion of the terminal building, runway upgrade, additional covered car parking and growth of the general aviation precinct.

Mr Weatherson advised that the upgrade to the airport will provide a modern, low cost airport operation with all of the facilities of competing metropolitan airports such as Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Council resolved in September this year to provide additional funding for the project to ensure appropriate infrastructure is provided to meet the growth currently being experienced at the airport. Council will provide $2.5 million this financial year for the project. With the federal government regional development grant that was awarded in late 2011, the project is expected to cost $5.5 million this financial year.

Currently, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Rex Airlines offer services to Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, with up to 52 flights per week. On completion of the project, additional direct services and destinations are planned.