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The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Barnaby Joyce, today announced $55 million in funding for a significant upgrade and expansion of Newcastle Airport’s international passenger terminal.

Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock said the terminal upgrade was the final piece of the puzzle for the Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Central Coast and North Coast regions in their path towards global connectivity.

“I want to sincerely thank the Deputy Prime Minister and the Federal Government for the confidence they have shown in our region,” he said.

“Coming on the back of the Government’s $66 million in funding for our airfield in May last year, this additional infrastructure will ensure nothing holds us back from our global potential.

“The significance of this moment shouldn’t be underestimated. It gives certainty and confidence to Australia’s largest regional economy at the perfect time.

“This upgrade is essential to process the long-haul aircraft, which can carry close to 400 passengers – this is an entirely different scale to our domestic fleet, which is closer to 180 passengers.

“I also want to thank our key regional partners, who have been consistent and persistent in their advocacy efforts, and everyone across our region who has assisted our advocacy. 

“The Hunter Joint Organisation has been key, and their coordination of our recent Hunter Global Summit was exemplary.

“Our two shareholder councils have, as always, been incredibly supportive, and the support of Business Hunter has also been instrumental in today’s outcome.

“We know there is plenty of work ahead, but we’re confident we’ll be connecting to a significant Asian hub by 2024. This will present opportunities that are difficult to quantify.

“Of course the new terminal will offer convenience for travellers from our catchment who want to fly internationally. But more importantly, it will drive huge, sustainable economic benefits throughout the region through inbound tourism, and freight related industries, including import and export.

“By providing greater access to the global economy, the upgrade will help generate 850,000 additional visitors, 4,410 jobs and $12.7 billion in economic activity for the Hunter and Northern NSW across the next 20 years.

“This truly is a project of national significance”, Dr Cock said.

“It’s critically important that we now continue to advocate for our region and our growing Airport precinct, particularly as we strengthen our capacity in the Defence and aerospace industries.”

Also speaking today, Chair of Newcastle Airport, Kirby Clark was elated to see the funding delivered after an incredibly challenging time for the business.

“It’s difficult to put into words how important global connectivity is for our airport and the 1.2 million people that it services,” he said.

“Measured in purely dollar terms, its huge. But more than that, this will allow our region to aspire for greater things, and to achieve them.”

Echoing those sentiments, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the airport would play a key role in the city’s transformation.

“We are emerging as a truly global gateway city with Newcastle Airport having direct access to our key trading and tourism partners in Asia and beyond,” she said.

“This funding for our passenger terminal will help complete that transition and bring the rest of the world closer to Newcastle. That means more jobs, more economic growth, and more opportunities to showcase our region on an international stage.

“Our strong, united and consistent advocacy to the Federal Government has paid off, and we can’t wait to watch this important enhancement commence. It’s a great day for Newcastle”.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer agreed on the ability for the airport to drive transformational change.

Whilst Port Stephens already has a well-established international brand, an international airport with the ability to fly long haul will bring key markets directly to our doorstep and fast-track our economic growth.”

Newcastle Airport recently appointed Cox architects to design the new terminal

Works on the upgraded airfield are expected to begin in April, with the first terminal works to commence in October.

Newcastle Airport precinct enhancement – key facts

>  A code E runway will allow wide bodied commercial aircraft such as Boeing 787’s and Airbus A330’s to use Newcastle Airport.

> These aircraft carry in excess of 250 passengers and significant freight loads. They are able to undertake long haul flights into North Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

> The Airport Master Plan outlines the following facilities to cater for an increase in passengers:

  • terminal transformation to offer facilities expanded over two levels
  • additional food, beverage and retail businesses
  • international services implemented into the facilities
  • aero-bridges from the upper level
  • major modifications to integrate ground transport and road access
  • creation of a pedestrian plaza
  • additional car parking areas and offerings
  • creation of a ‘campus’ style business precinct.

>  Over the next 20 years, the upgrade of the airfield and terminal will generate the creation of 4,400 extra fulltime jobs.

> Over the same time, it will also generate:

  • $6.2Billion in extra income for the visitor economy
  • $6.5Billion in additional business activity through increased freight access

> 80% of Australia’s air freight travels in the hold of passenger aircraft.

> Access to these long-haul markets will be a significant boost to the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct (SAP) being managed by the NSW Government.

> The Williamtown SAP It is focusing on Defence aerospace, advanced manufacturing and export enabled industries.  

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