WORKS officially opened at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport this morning was the culmination of a major six-month upgrade program.
Coffs Harbour City Council Mayor, Cr Denise Knight, said the upgrade was necessary due to the increased usage of the airport.
"In the past ten years, Coffs Harbour Regional Airport has seen a rise of 100 per cent in the number of passengers using the facility," Cr Knight said.
"It's an outstanding achievement and one that underpins Coffs Harbour's status as a major regional hub.
"It also provides a very, very strong foundation for the airport's - and city's - future growth."
The completed projects include:
- Construction of a new access road for emergency vehicles, freight and staff.
- Widening of the aircraft parking apron to accommodate up to five large jet aircraft at the same time.
- Installation of a new automated Taxi Control System to address congestion issues in front of the terminal building.
- Construction of new check-in counters and a departure gate for Tiger Airways.
- Refurbishment of all existing amenities and construction of new amenities in the arrivals hall.
- Upgrading of Biggles café and construction of a new Coffee Bar in the arrivals hall.
- New rental car counters.
- Enlargement of the sterile security area to improve the passenger screening process and provide more seating for customers and visitors.
In addition, a tender has been awarded for the upgrading of the main runway and work on that project will begin in a matter of weeks.
"As a result of the works - by the end of 2013 - Coffs Harbour Regional Airport will have a new runway, aircraft parking apron and a fully-refurbished and upgraded terminal, which will cater for future operations for at least five to 10 years without the need for any further significant capital expenditure," airport manager, Dennis Martin, said.