Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
A newly revamped Tamworth Regional Airport will make the flying experience safer and more comfortable for passengers travelling to and from one of Australia's biggest regional centres.
Today I joined the Member for New England, Tony Windsor, Mayor Col Murray, and Airport Manager Michael Dubois to throw open the doors to the $4.2 million terminal extension and state-of-the-art security upgrade.
I congratulate Mayor Murray, Mr Dubois and Council and Airport staff on a great job.
As part of the extension, the terminal building has been revamped, the arrivals and departures lounge space has tripled in size and the car park extended.
New security screening equipment has also been fitted out including explosive trace detection machines, hand held metal detectors, and baggage screening machines.
Today's opening is the culmination of more than a year of representations by Mr Windsor with the Federal Labor Government providing almost $1 million for the security upgrade.
Safety should be a priority for all Australians, not just those travelling between major cities. Together, the new facilities and screening equipment will make the travelling experience safer and more secure for people in regional Australia.
Tamworth Regional Airport is Australia's largest regional airport and plays a hugely significant role in the local community and economy. As well as being the gateway to the New England region, the airport receives tens of thousands of visitors every year travelling to major events such as the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Passenger travel through Tamworth Regional Airport has doubled since 2003, with an annual average increase of over 10 per cent per year – about twice the national annual average for regional aviation. The bright outlook for regional aviation means the upgraded airport will attract even more services into the future.
Ensuring transport and infrastructure is modern, efficient and safe is the key to a growing region and a vibrant local economy and under this Government there is more money and support going into regional aviation than ever before.
Since coming to Government in 2007, we've invested $75 million to upgrade 26 regional airports and over $50 million to make 236 remote airstrips safer.