CONSULTATION has started on a $100 million investment in the redevelopment of the Hobart International Airport, which involves upgrades to the airport terminal and an extension of the runway.
In a statement last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the runway extension will create new opportunities for Tasmania by giving the state the capacity to attract regular international flights from overseas carriers and support Antarctic research aircraft.
The Australian Government is committing $38 million and Hobart International Airport Pty Ltd committing $2 million towards the runway extension project, which will result in a 500-metre extension.
The Tasmanian Government welcomed the announcement and said it could not come at a better time for the tourism industry, the Antarctic sector and Tasmania's fresh produce exporters.
Hobart Airport currently carries 60 per cent of all scheduled air traffic to Tasmania. In 2014, this translated to a record 2.12 million passenger movements.
"We have a Plan to increase visitor numbers to 1.5 million by 2020 and we are capitalising on record visitor numbers, strong demand for our high value and high quality produce, unprecedented business and leisure interest from China, and low global fuel prices," State Growth Minister Matthew Groom.
"With this significant investment in our gateway airport, we have an ideal opportunity to establish improved and sustainable connections to key growth markets for Tasmanian exporters and tourism operators."