Cairns Airport has announced a $55 million transformation to future-proof its domestic terminal, accommodating increasing passenger traffic and providing travellers with a world-class airport experience.
Over the next 10 years traffic through the domestic terminal is expected to grow by 40 per cent to around six million passengers a year.
Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter said the project would enable the airport to continue to offer great customer experience for travellers into the future.
“In the last year we’ve announced new international flights and an upgrade of the food and beverage options in the international terminal. Now it’s the domestic terminal’s turn,” Mr Carter said.
“With this redevelopment we are aiming to take customer experience to new heights from touch down to take off. We want our customers to arrive excited and depart delighted.”
The project is expected to generate more than 300 jobs during the construction phase and another 150 permanent jobs on completion, contributing to the strength of the local economy.
Expanding to 10,000 square metres, the departures hall will boast additional seating and easier navigation of the terminal for passengers.
Chief Operations Officer Kate McCreery-Carr said a major improvement would see boarding gates spread throughout the terminal to reduce congestion.
“The improved layout will make a significant difference at peak times when we see high volume passenger flow. Boarding queues will be reduced and this will promote a more relaxed environment for passengers,” Ms McCreery-Carr said.
Chief Commercial Officer Tracey Groves said feedback showed that passengers value new and innovative dining and retail experiences as an important part of their journey.
“The importance of food, beverage and high-quality retail offerings as an overall part of the travel experience cannot be underestimated,” Ms Groves said.
An additional 2,000 square meters of dining and retail options will showcase the best of Tropical North Queensland to the world.
“We want to give departing passengers one last chance to experience the best of the diverse and exciting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland foodie scene, showcasing the wonderful local produce from the region in our menus.”
Around 75 per cent of international travellers to Tropical North Queensland currently arrive and depart on a domestic flight.
“It may be the first time these visitors have come to Cairns Airport so these experiences are vital to the overall impression these guests take with them on their journey home,” Ms Groves said.
Cairns Airport is the seventh busiest by passenger movements in Australia, and the second busiest regional centre behind the Gold Coast. Work on the redevelopment is expected to commence in August with completion set for 2020.