Airport numbers up despite tourism gloom

JUNE 2010

PREDICTI ONS that international tourism numbers will continue to decline have been proven wrong with the Gold Coast Airport’s latest figures showing 27 per cent growth in international travel from the corresponding time last year.

The statistics show that more than 448,000 passengers travelled through Gold Coast Airport in April 2010, with domestic travel also showing strong growth at a 10 per cent increase on last year.

Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) managing director Dennis Chant, says the results are positive for the group.

“Across the board the airports in the QAL Group have all recorded good passenger movements for April. Gold Coast Airport continues to grow in both the domestic and international markets and is maintaining a very strong performance,” he says.

While Gold Coast Airport remains the company’s standout performercontributing to almost 75 per cent of the group’s overall passenger movements, Chant says a strong focus is on improving infrastructure at its regional airports to cater for growth.

“Townsville will soon commence a $1.3 million redevelopment of its car parking facilities, scheduled to start in June. This will include expanding the long-term car park by adding 270 more spaces, which will effectively almost double the size of the car park,” he says.

“In Mount Isa our $3.8 million terminal redevelopment project is continuing with stage one, including the completion of the new baggage claim and arrivals area, and extension of the existing departure lounge, scheduled to be completed in early July.”

Gold Coast Airport’s $100 million terminal redevelopment, which doubled the size of the facility to 30,000sqm and boasts new luggage screening and lounge facilities, has been in operation since February.

The airport is Australia’s sixth largest and now handles around five million passengers annually, contributing more than $1 billion to the region’s economy.

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