BOOMING: Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox at the Whitsunday Coast Airport.
BOOMING: Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox at the Whitsunday Coast Airport. Vanessa Dale

Airport expansion work keeps dollars in the region

MORE than 20 local sub-contractors and suppliers are sharing in the benefits of the first stage of the $40 million Whitsunday Coast Airport runway upgrade and airport expansion.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said more than $4 million in contracts had been awarded on the airport project under his council's local buy policy.

"I am very proud of our local buy policy which supports regional business which equates to creating jobs for locals,” he said.

"The major contractors Fulton Hogan agreed to terms that a priority be placed on awarding as much sub-contract work as possible within region.”

Mayor Willcox said the runway upgrade and terminal expansion project was also timely as airport passenger figures last month hit a new airport record.

"July was the single biggest month on record for passenger numbers at the WCA with 41,760 passengers arriving and departing from the terminal.

"That figure is 12,500 more than July, 2016 and if the trend continues we are on target to hit the 500,000 passengers per annum target way ahead of forecast.

"The previous monthly records were 32,768 in December 2016 and 33,609 in June 2017.”

Whitsunday Coast Airport acting general manager Glenn Robinson said it was exciting times for our region as passenger number growth had almost doubled in the last 11 months.

"This huge increase makes Whitsunday Coast Airport one of the fastest growing regional airports in Australia,” he said.

"We have been focused on securing new domestic routes and extra flights and are proud that we are now the only mainland regional airport south of Townsville that has direct jet only flights to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

"And the good news gets even better as we commence the detailed design for our massive $15m terminal expansion.

"This expansion is guaranteed to improve the customer experience of all passengers passing through the Whitsunday Coast Airport.”


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