NEWCASTLE’S strategy to make itself a major international destination for both overseas tourists and Aussie jetsetters has enjoyed a major shot in the arm this week, with the Commonwealth Bank signing a deal with the hub to inject $240 million towards significant upgrades.
Securing the additional funding is a major step forward for the vision of a much larger Newcastle travel hub, with planned expansions of the site to include increasing domestic capacity and developing a new international terminal, as well as a range of adjoining commercial and industrial developments such as a commercial office for aerospace company Astra Aerolab.
Newcastle Airport CEO, Peter Cock, welcomed the new this week, highlighting the benefits the expansion will have in store for the region.
“Driving greater economic and social benefits by broadening our domestic and international destinations and contributing to Newcastle’s transformation from a major regional hub into an international destination and a significant second international gateway to NSW, is key to our purpose,” he said.
The cash stumped up by the major Aussie bank will add to the existing $121 million in Federal Government funding to help make Newcastle Airport a major player in the international travel market, with designs on dispersing visitors to attractions throughout the Hunter region.
Speaking on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank, Executive Manager, Regional and Agribusiness Banking NSW Newcastle and Hunter Valley, Paul Cragg, said Newcastle Airport represented strategically important infrastructure and a key driver of the regional economy.
“The airport’s expansion and modernisation will significantly increase its capacity and improve connectivity across Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and the Central Coast, driving new business and employment opportunities that add to the region’s prosperity,” he said, adding “the CBA is proud to partner with Newcastle Airport on this exciting project.”
It is estimated that revamped terminals at Newcastle Airport will see an additional 850,000 tourists visit the NSW city annually, injecting close to $13 billion into the local economy over the next 20 years, with the airport currently servicing 12 domestic routes with six domestic airlines, catering to around 1.3 million passengers a year.
Newcastle Airport also confirmed its expansion will facilitate the introduction of new domestic and international routes and address capacity for forecast growth to around 2 million travellers a year.