Airport

Hobart International Airport in Australian’s southernmost Tasmania will proceed with a 20 million U.S dollars upgrade to its facilities as the state attempts to lure more international services, including those from China. Airport
The state government grant means investment in Tasmania’s busiest airport will hit more than 80 million U.S dollars over the last seven years.
It also comes alongside a federal government pledge of nearly 30 million U.S dollars to be spent on a runway extension so that larger, international aircraft can resume services to Tasmania.
The government aims to lure major international airlines to the state, with direct flights to China touted as a possible option.
In March, Tasmania’s Parliamentary Secretary traveled to China to discuss the prospect of a direct link.
“My understanding is the Fujian province government are working closely with the airline to on a business case and on a feasibility study for that to happen,” Adam Brooks said at the time.
The aim is to also enhance the state’s reputation as the ” gateway to the Antarctic”, offering an alternative to current services planned in New Zealand and from other Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
The airport upgrades, set to begin next week, include renovations to the outdated facade of the airport as well as a plan to showcase local produce through new dining options in the terminal areas.
Michael Bailey from the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it would give a better first impression of the state to travelers.
“We believe that this will boost the appeal of Hobart as a destination and certainly with different retail operations going into the precinct it will certainly add to the economic drive that the airport gives to Hobart,” he said on Wednesday.
Hobart Airport is considered the fastest growing non-mining airport in Australia, and according to Tourism Industry Council Tasmania chief Luke Martin, the upgrades will serve the continued growth of the airport for decades to come.
“It is important that the airport is able to meet the needs of growing numbers of visitors to the state,” Martin told News Corp on Wednesday.
“We need the airlines to prioritize more services into the state and all our airports need to be equipped to cope with growing passenger numbers.”
The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Enditem

-Xinhua

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