Latest news and insights from Australia’s airports

Solar power taking flight at Melbourne Airport

The biggest Australian solar power array of its type is set to be completed at Melbourne Airport by the middle of next month and will further boost the airport’s environmental credentials when it fires up. The massive 192,000 square metre array is the size of 10 soccer fields and its 17-gigawatt hours of annual electricity production account for about 15 percent of the airport’s annual consumption. That is enough to power all ...

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Van Pelt: Maintaining and growing Launceston as a vital transport link is the key

New Launceston Airport chief executive Hans van Pelt is moving into the airport business during an unparalleled chapter of aviation history with a resolve to get the airport on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. The new airport chief may be moving into the key piece of Northern Tasmanian infrastructure at the direst of times, but he is confident about its long-term future. “Tassie will bounce back which is obviously ...

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Nation’s major gateway funding a road to recovery

As continuing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic forces airports large and small to recast their plans, a $2 billion Sydney Airport equity raise aims to ensure the nation’s major gateway is prepared for all contingencies in what it describes as the most stringent travel restrictions in Australian history. Sydney Airport’s first equity raising since 2013 comes as optimism about a domestic revival has been dented by further border closures and as ...

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Virgin announcement: The future of regional operations

Virgin Australia still sees a long-term future for its regional operations and is looking for alternative ways of servicing airports affected by its decision to axe ATR turboprops as part of its wider restructuring. That was some of the solace that could be taken from the Virgin Group’s grim announcement that it would add to the 6000 job cuts already announced by Qantas by shedding 3000 staff as part of restructure ...

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Essendon homebase for emergency services during critical times

An operational mix that includes emergency services flights has helped buffer Essendon Fields against the coronavirus crisis and now the airport is returning the favour with a campaign acknowledging its “airborne heroes”. Emergency services account for about a quarter of aircraft movements at Melbourne’s historic first airport and include essential services such as the Victoria Police Airwing, Air Ambulance Victoria, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The ...

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Top End airports are optimistic for domestic tourism boost

NT Airports chief executive Tony Edmondstone may have started his new job just as COVID-19 hit but he is bullish about the Top End’s prospects of capitalising on a domestic tourism recovery. Staff have been gearing up for the Northern Territory’s 17 July border re-opening and Edmondstone likens the anticipation to “the kids a couple of days before Christmas”. While a 95 percent drop off in traffic due to the coronavirus has ...

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World-first project to build Australia’s most remote paved runway

Building a new aerodrome is never easy but spare a thought for the unique challenges facing a world-first project to build Australia’s most remote paved runway in the pristine environment of Antarctica. Just the delivery of materials and infrastructure to build a proposed 2700m runway at Davis research station in East Antarctica is expected to take place over many years and require a combination of a large icebreaker and ice-strengthened freighters. This ...

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Sydney’s strategy to get Australia moving again

Sydney Airport is keen to take on a critical role in getting Australia’s shell-shocked tourism industry moving again with what chief executive Geoff Culbert describes as “a sustainable and scalable strategy”. The nation’s busiest airport moved quickly to protect its workers and balance sheet as government travel restrictions due to the coronavirus demolished 98 percent of its passenger traffic. It had been hoping COVID-19 would follow the track of the 2002 SARS ...

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Sunshine Coast paves way for boost to region

Even the darkest COVID cloud has a silver lining and for Sunshine Coast Airport it’s the long-awaited commissioning of a new runway designed to open the popular Queensland destination to the world. The new Code E runway can handle widebody jets, such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, capable of directly connecting the region to new destinations in Asia and ends operational constraints for domestic and trans-Tasman operators. Boeing 737s and ...

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Airport working with island residents who are ‘really hurting’

King Island’s world-renowned produce means it punches well above its weight when it comes to global recognition but getting governments to acknowledge the unique status of its airport is proving more difficult. The Bass Strait island airport has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but its pleas for government assistance to help cover operating losses have so far fallen on deaf ears. The island is not alone in having to bear ...

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