Melbourne Lord Mayor Cr John So opened a major expansion of Melbourne Airport’s international arrivals hall, a key part of the airport’s half-billion dollar expansion program. The expansion adds an additional 35 per cent more space to international arrivals area and includes the airport’s fifth international baggage carousel, designed to accommodate the bags of up to 550 people from the Airbus 380. The new area is part of Melbourne Airport’s 5-year, $500 million development and expansion program to prepare Victoria for continued passenger growth and to accommodate the new A380 aircraft.
“Tourism is an extremely important industry for Melbourne, with the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia showing an average annual growth of 5.5 per cent for people visiting Melbourne from overseas,” said Lord Mayor John So. “This new facility will give international visitors their first taste of our dynamic and exciting city. More than 4 million international visitors have come through Melbourne’s international airport in the past year and we look forward to that number increasing with so many attractions and major events like the Spring Racing Carnival.”
Airport CEO Chris Barlow said that the new super-sized’ baggage carousel would ensure a smooth journey into Melbourne for visitors arriving for Melbourne’s major events. This new baggage facility has been opened just in time to ensure the large numbers of international visitors arriving for the Spring Racing Carnival are given an impressive welcome to our city,” Mr Barlow said. The new area features striking wall displays and large groups of 3x3 LCD screens which promote Victoria’s events. These areas can be completely customised, ensuring Victoria’s major events can welcome international visitors in the most impressive way possible.
Over the last two years we have embarked on the most ambitious development program ever seen at an Australian airport. With a widened runway, a new third level to our international terminal and dual-level A380-capable aerobridges it is critical that the baggage process is just as efficient,” explained Mr Barlow. This new fifth international baggage carousel will ensure Melbourne Airport remains the most passenger-friendly and airline-efficient in Australia.”
At a glance: Melbourne Airport’s recent developments The new fifth international baggage carousel is the final stage in Melbourne Airport’s developments for A380 aircraft, and is a key step in the airport’s overall $500m upgrade of airfield and terminal facilities, which has included the following major projects:
* RUNWAY:Melbourne Airport’s main runway was widened in April 2005 to accommodate the larger A380 aircraft. The project was completed 2 weeks ahead of schedule, in just 29 days. It was awarded the 2006 Australian Construction Achievement Award for infrastructure excellence, the first Victorian project to given this award. The first sod on this runway widening was turned by Premier Steve Bracks, and the completed runway was opened by Qantas Chairman Margaret Jackson and Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey.
* AEROBRIDGESNew dual-level aerobridges were built to accommodate the double-decker A380 and were commissioned two days before the A380’s promotional visit to Melbourne in November 2005. These aerobridges were officially commissioned by Tourism Minister John Pandazopoulos.
* INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL EXPANSIONMelbourne Airport’s international terminal was expanded by 5,000m2 to create more space for international passengers, including new premium airlines lounges for Emirates, Qantas and Air New Zealand. The expansion was opened March this year by Minister for State and Regional Development John Brumby, just days before the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.