CANBERRA AIRPORT OPEN FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Canberra Airport is officially open for international passengers and freight, following the unveiling of its new International Terminal today.
The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon. Darren Chester MP, and the Executive Chairman of the Capital Airport Group, Terry Snow, unveiled a plaque signalling the beginning of a new era for Canberra and the surrounding region.
The first international flight, Singapore Airlines’ SQ291 from Singapore through Canberra and Wellington, New Zealand, arrives next Wednesday, September 21st.
Mr Snow said that the beginning of an international service would be seen as one of the big “game changers” for Canberra.
“18 and a half years ago, we were determined to build the best little airport in the world, and this has been the completion of our dream. We have spent $2 billion to realise this ambition in commercial infrastructure, and an airport designed to handle 12 million passengers”, Mr Snow said.
“We’ve shown plenty of guts in providing these facilities – it is now up to the Canberra community to take up the challenge”.
The ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, said the international service was the result of a productive partnership between the Airport and the Government.
“Today, the dreams and ideas are becoming reality, so take a moment to cherish the moment”.
Minister Chester said the opening of the terminal represented “a great day for Canberra, for the southern region and a great day for Australia”.
The construction phase of the terminal provided employment for approximately180 full time staff, with a total of 391 inducted people into the site.
The ongoing operation of the terminal will initially provide 85 new direct jobs and more than 240 indirect jobs, and more jobs are expected to be created over the next 12 months and beyond.
Canberra Airport Managing Director, Stephen Byron, said the beginning of international services meant the end of the lengthy domestic to international transit for Canberra and the wider region’s passengers.
“We have partnered with Singapore Airlines, the Department of Agriculture, Border Force and the AFP to provide a high level of service for embarking and disembarking passengers”, Mr Byron said.
“We now have an enormous capability and strong competitive advantages to leverage growth in our international services to and from the Canberra region and, together with the ACT Government, are in active discussions with a number of airlines about additional services to other international destinations”.