9 May 2015
Xavier La Canna
An $85 million expansion of the Darwin International Airport that saw the site almost double in size, has been officially opened by Prime Minister Tony Abbott today.
Mr Abbott said the increasing importance of Northern Australia, including the contributing of 50 per cent of the nation’s exports, meant the airport upgrade was a much-needed development for the region.
“The whole of the Territory is excited and exhilarated at this marvellous new development,” Mr Abbott said.
“As time goes by, Northern Australia is going to be more and more important.”
He praised the new airport works, which it is hoped will enable airlines who use the facility to expand their businesses.
“It’s a tribute to the confidence and the optimism that people here in Darwin, and right around Northern Australia, have right now,” he said.
“I say to any of my fellow citizens who think that the north is some remote frontier, come here, come here to Darwin, see the dynamic, the vibrant, the diverse and prosperous economies that have been created here,” Mr Abbott said.
The Federal Government will continue to fund programs to upgrade remote air strips, and to subsidise remote air services at a cost $40 million.
No federal money was contributed to the upgrades at Darwin Airport but Mr Abbott joked that it was still good to be able to open the expanded facility.
Darwin Airport chief executive Ian Kew said the airport would now be able to handle twice the number of passengers and planes in busy times than it had prior.
“In simple terms our terminal has expanded from 16,000 to 27,000 square metres,” he said.
Courtesy of ABC News
9 May 2015