LAUNCESTON Airport's strategic direction for the next 20 years has been mapped out, following approval of the airport's 2015 Master Plan by the Australian Government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Master Plan includes plans to address forecast passenger growth at the airport—from 1.3 million to 2.5 million passengers annually by 2035.
"The Master Plan provides for airside, terminal and non-aviation development, as well as ground transport enhancements and environmental management," Mr Truss said.
"The aviation sector plays a critical role in building a strong national economy and Launceston Airport is every bit as crucial to the local, regional and state economies.
"Employment at the airport is expected to grow to 393 over the next five years from 379 today, with most jobs in the airline, retail and service contractor sectors.
"In addition, Launceston Airport's 2015 Master Plan outlines significant infrastructure investments that will translate into substantial economic benefits.
"These investments include a $65 million capital expenditure program over the next 10 years.
"The Master Plan provides for long-term aviation operational support and freight facilities while maintaining the option of reopening, if required, two grass runways that are currently closed."
General Manager of Launceston Airport, Paul Hodgen, described the 2015 Master Plan as a significant document for the airport's future.
"The development of our 2015 Master Plan has been an extensive process and we're really pleased that the Minister has approved our vision to strengthen Launceston's position as a leading Australian regional airport and tourism gateway to Tasmania," Mr Hodgen said.
"Since privatisation in 1998, Launceston Airport's passenger numbers have doubled to more than 1.28 million and we expect this growth to continue, with 2.5 million passengers expected by 2035.
"This milestone will further strengthen our direction for growth and development of our airport over the next 20 years, including plans for the establishment of an intermodal freight hub in the Western Junction area."
Launceston Airport must make the 2015 Master Plan available to the public within 50 business days.