Devonport Airport Upgrade Opened Tue 17 July 2012 Lara Giddings Premier David O'Byrne Minister for Infrastructure Download hi-res version Download hi-res version Download hi-res version The tourist gateway to the North West has been strengthened with today's opening of the $4.6 million Devonport Airport upgrade. The Premier, Lara Giddings, and the Minister for Infrastructure, David O'Byrne, said the project would provide an economic boost for the region, while improving services for Tasmanians travelling interstate. "It has been an exciting week for tourism in the North West region, with the announcement yesterday of more Qantas seats into Devonport, followed by the opening today of this impressive new facility," Ms Giddings said. "Devonport airport is a vital gateway for businesses and tourism activities in the North West. "The airport's competitive advantage lies in its proximity to major attractions like Cradle Mountain and the spectacular far North West and in providing the most direct link for local residents travelling to the mainland. "For the first time this upgrade allows passengers connecting with flights in Melbourne to be fully screened in Devonport so that they don't have to be rescreened in Melbourne. "I am confident this upgrade will help increase visitor volume through the airport which, in turn, will help support local businesses," she said. Ms Giddings congratulated local company Stubbs Construction for their work on the upgrade, which included: • Modernisation and refurbishment of the terminal interior and exterior; • A new baggage carousel; • New passenger and baggage screening infrastructure; • A fully screened departure lounge; and • An upgrade of the Qantas Club lounge. The Minister for Infrastructure, David O'Byrne, commended TasPorts for their forward-looking approach to infrastructure in Tasmania. "This upgrade has brought Devonport Airport well and truly into the 21st century - as a pleasure to visit for locals, business operators, and tourists alike," Mr O'Byrne said. "This development secures a bright future for the airport, with commercial opportunities and potential new customers offering great flow-on benefits. "Passenger numbers through Devonport Airport have grown more than 55 per cent in the past five years. "This is a strategic investment by TasPorts to build on that impressive momentum," he said. TasPorts is currently investing in several major infrastructure projects - showing considerable financial confidence. In 2010/11, it spent $13 million on infrastructure and maintenance activities across Tasmania - significantly more than in previous years. The GBE recently announced Fairbrother as the contractor for the $7-million re-development of Hobart's Macquarie Number Two Wharf into cruise ship terminal and Antarctic logistics hub. "We know that building strong, modern infrastructure is a key way to create economic opportunities," Mr O'Byrne said. "I'm delighted to see TasPorts endorsing that principle, and investing strongly and strategically in Tasmania's future," he said.