AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott and NT Chief Minister Adam Giles last week officially opened Darwin International Airport's $75 million expansion project, which includes an expanded arrivals and departures terminal, new boarding gates and redesigned retail outlets.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Northern Territory Airports CEO Ian Kew said the Terminal Expansion Project aimed to create a bigger, more efficient terminal that offers visitors a better customer experience and supports the Darwin International Airport's (DIA) airline and retail partners.
"Since its beginnings as little more than a landing strip at Fannie Bay, DIA has been an important part of the Top End community and a key contributor to its economy. Last year, DIA had 2.3 million passengers through its doors, and we're expecting this number to continue to climb," Mr Kew said.
"Investment in the airport's infrastructure benefits the Top End by helping to attract and grow air services to the region, supporting tourism, business and industry."
As part of the expansion project, the airport terminal has increased from 16,000 to 27,000 square metres, creating space for an expanded arrivals and departures area, four new domestic and two new international boarding gates, additional security screening areas, a larger check-in area and a new multi-use baggage reclaim area for both domestic and international arrivals.
Qantas and Virgin Australia have also made long-term commitments to the region by opening airline lounges in the extended terminal, and DIA's retail partners AWPL, Delaware North Companies and JR Duty Free have added new and redesigned outlets.
The expansion project also included the construction of three new aircraft parking bays, which brings total number to 17. The apron was extended by 15,000 square metres, and the airport now has capacity to process twice the number of passengers it could normally handle during peak periods.
Mr Kew said the airport had also been working to incorporate a sense of place in the expanded terminal and a partnership was formed with Aaron McTaggart, Kieren Karritpul McTaggart and Gracie Kumbi of Merrepen Arts to have their original designs used throughout the terminal.