Adelaide Airport starts $165 million expansion

Adelaide Airport starts $165 million expansion
Adelaide Airport starts $165 million expansion

Adelaide Airport will begin immediate construction on a $165 million expansion which will expand floor space, shopping and dining areas as well as expand international departure and arrival space.

Work is set to begin in earnest with the key focus of the expansion being on improving the passenger departure and arrival experience, a statement from the airport says.

When the new terminal opened in 2005, Adelaide Airport gained a single terminal for both international and domestic flights.  Unique among the major capital airports in Australia (however Canberra has since joined Adelaide in this respect), some gates could be ringfenced and secured for international departures and arrivals or switched back for domestic use.

The new expansion will see this 'swing configuration' continue however a single gate - number 18 - will become a permanent international gate where the focus of improving international passenger facilities will be.

A second international baggage claim belt will be added in the international arrivals hall and a new common user premium lounge will be constructed.

Other improvements include relocation of the Virgin Australia lounge and an expansion of office space for airlines and regulatory authorities based at the airport.

Since we opened the existing terminal in 2005, our overall passenger numbers have increased by close to 50 per cent.

Our international passenger numbers alone have almost tripled over the same period. This extraordinary growth means we need to keep growing our existing facilities.

While we still have sufficient gate capacity to meet future forecast growth in the number of flights, we’re reaching capacity within the terminal.

This expansion will allow us to be fit-for-purpose based on our future growth forecasts.

Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mark Young

Virgin Australia's Group Executive, Rob Sharp, said: "the relocation of the Virgin Australia Lounge presents an exciting opportunity and we look forward to sharing more detail on our plans in due course."

The expansion is going to see a 'complete refurbishment of retail areas, resulting in a more than 80 per cent increase in the overall size of the terminal’s retail and dining precinct across domestic and international areas,' according to an airport statement.

Federal Government statistics show Adelaide's busiest domestic route is to Melbourne with 2 475,200 people flying between the city pair over the year ending March 31st, 2018.

This compares with Australia's busiest city pair, Melbourne-Sydney, which sees 9 191,700 passengers fly between the two cities.

For the year ending March 31st, 2018, Adelaide saw 985,748 people use the airport on international flights and if it continues to grow at the rate it did over the past 12 months, it could join the top 5 international airports in Australia within a few years.  Gold Coast is currently in 5th spot with 1,079,568 flying in and out internationally.

Watpac has been appointed builder for the expansion and work is set to be completed in 2021.

Lead image credit: Adelaide Airport.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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Airports Adelaide

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