After a week of testing and commissioning of communications, security and other services Stage 1 of the terminal is now ready to open and will include:
- Access to the car park including the long term parking
- Aero Espresso Café operational
- Hire Car workstations open
- Check In Counters operational
- Arrival and Departures inside the terminal building
- Partial completion of landscaping
- Some initial signage
- Portable toilets will remain in-situ until Stage 2 progresses further
People driving into the Airport will need to follow the directional signage until the intersection at the drop off zone is complete.
Member for Barker Mr Tony Pasin, said it was major milestone towards the multi-million airport upgrade.
“While passenger numbers may be reduced during the pandemic, it’s fantastic to see this project progressing. Once fully complete it will be a fantastic welcome to the region at a time that we will hopefully be starting to see visitors return with our tourism industry starting to ramp up and increased business activity in the Limestone Coast. Until then, the project is progressing well and supporting construction jobs along the way,” Mr Pasin said.
Part of an overall $9.2M Airport Upgrade Project, Stage 1 of the terminal build started late 2019 and has included demolition of the original terminal and a review of the overall construction program as a result of COVID-19. Alongside the construction of the terminal Council has successfully extended the main runway by 120 meters, built a new heavy aircraft apron and installed new lighting and electrical upgrades to ensure continuity of the entire airport during a power failure or natural disaster such as a bushfire. Airside works were completed early 2020 allowing the project team to focus on the new terminal construction with the entire project currently tracking to be on time and on budget; a promise to the public Council and all Contractors involved in the project are committed to delivering.
Chief Executive Officer for the Grant District Council Mr Darryl Whicker said he was thrilled to see the airport starting to get back to normal operations and thanked people for their patience and flexibility during the transition time with the temporary terminal.
“We know that during the winter months the temporary terminal could at times be a little difficult with the weather for the ground crew, car hire operators, taxi drivers, air crew, café operator and passengers. On behalf of Council and Kennett Builders we extend a big thankyou to the commitment of to the large team of contractors, staff, stakeholders and Council Members who have worked with us as a team to get Stage 1 functioning and open. Now that people can move in and settle into the new spaces we hope the wait has been worth it and people are proud of our new terminal and infrastructure which is fundamentally important to the Limestone Coast region.”
A key feature of the new building is the impressive atrium in the arrivals hall which dominates the roofline and filters sunlight into the area. Designed by Ashley Halliday to reflect the sinkholes which are synonymous with the region the atrium is striking and reinforces the unique and beautiful landscape of the Limestone Coast.
“Through Stage 1 people will see the appeal of the building and the thought that has gone into the design and build. From the glimpses of the landscape and the surrounding vistas through the windows to the colour scheme and use of local timber, the whole building has put the region front and centre to create a strong impression for visitors and when life gets back to normal and we can resume interstate travel, this vision by Ashley Halliday and Council will be realised” said Mr Whicker.
Stage 2 is already underway with the slab poured, the building structure erected and progress is moving fast towards the roof being put on and the area being weather proofed.
Carlin McNeil, Project Manager for Kennett’s said that the Stage 2 build is moving quickly.
“We are seeing already that this stage will move quicker than Stage 1 as there is less complexity involved in the build and we have got our local trades fully geared up onsite. We are tracking well to meet the December 2020 deadline for completion and are very excited to see people’s reaction when they walk into the terminal for the first time” he said.
The Mount Gambier Regional Airport Upgrade is funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund in partnership with the South Australian State Government. To keep up to date on the Mount Gambier Regional Airport Project please visit https://yoursaydcg.com.au/.