Cairns Airport plans $55 million domestic terminal revamp

Cairns Airport, one of Australia’s leading regional airports, has announced a AU$55 million project to transform and future-proof its domestic terminal, accommodating increasing passenger traffic.

The gateway to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef and Tropical Rainforests of North Queensland expects to see traffic through the domestic terminal grow by 40% over the next 10 years to around 6 million passengers a year.

“In the last year we’ve announced new international flights and an upgrade of the food and beverage options in the international terminal. Now it’s the domestic terminal’s turn,” said chief executive officer Norris Carter.

“With this redevelopment we are aiming to take customer experience to new heights from touch down to take off. We want our customers to arrive excited and depart delighted.”

Expanding to 10,000 square metres, the departures hall will gain additional seating and easier navigation of the terminal for passengers.

Chief operations officer Kate McCreery-Carr said a major improvement would see boarding gates spread throughout the terminal to reduce congestion: “The improved layout will make a significant difference at peak times when we see high volume passenger flow. Boarding queues will be reduced and this will promote a more relaxed environment for passengers.”

An additional 2,000 square metres of dining and retail options will also showcase the best of Tropical North Queensland.

Chief commercial officer, Tracey Groves, said feedback showed that passengers value new and innovative dining and retail experiences as an important part of their journey, adding: “The importance of food, beverage and high-quality retail offerings as an overall part of the travel experience cannot be underestimated.”

“We want to give departing passengers one last chance to experience the best of the diverse and exciting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland foodie scene, showcasing the wonderful local produce from the region in our menus.”

Approximately 75% of international travellers to Tropical North Queensland currently arrive and depart on a domestic flight.

Groves continued: “It may be the first time these visitors have come to Cairns Airport so these experiences are vital to the overall impression these guests take with them on their journey home.”

The project is expected to generate more than 300 jobs during the construction phase and another 150 permanent jobs on completion, contributing to the strength of the economy.

Written by: Kimberley Young

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