The first passengers today passed through the new Western Concourse Terminal at Canberra Airport, marking a major milestone towards the completion of the airport’s redevelopment.
I was pleased to join ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, Virgin Australia CEO, John Borghetti, and Canberra Airport CEO, Stephen Byron to welcome passengers through the Western Concourse Terminal and officially open Virgin Australia’s new lounge facilities.
It is fitting that Stage 2 of the redevelopment is being completed during Canberra’s Centenary Year, cementing the airport’s position as a key economic driver for the ACT and the surrounding region.
Fourteen years ago Canberra Airport consisted of a small-scale terminal, general aviation precinct and the RAAF Fairbairn base. Today, the airport stands as the most significant transport hub in the capital region, with over 3 million passengers passing through its doors in 2012.
This number is set to more than double to 6.14 million over the next two decades.
The new terminal will help cater for the growing number of business travellers and tourists who use the airport every day, ensuring our capital city continues to reap the social and economic benefits that come with the increase in air travel.
The fact that Australia’s two major domestic carriers – Qantas and Virgin – have continued to invest in services is a strong vote of confidence in Canberra’s aviation sector.
Their ongoing commitment has meant passengers can enjoy lower fares, greater choice of destinations and the ability to fly to the national capital without changing planes.
I congratulate Canberra Airport and Virgin Australia for their work on this important project.