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Cairns and Mackay Airports Set for Major Upgrades with $100m Investment

Cairns and Mackay Airports Set for Major Upgrades with $100m Investment
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Investing in the Future

The Australian government has greenlit a substantial A$155 million ($102.4 million) investment in the Cairns and Mackay airports, marking a significant step towards enhancing regional connectivity and boosting local economies.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is providing this funding through a loan to North Queensland Airports (NQA), the entity managing both airports.

Enhancing Cairns Airport

Cairns Airport, the seventh busiest airport for international passengers in Australia, is set to receive its first major upgrade in over thirty years.

The investment will significantly expand the capacity of baggage collection halls, refurbish the departure lounge, and create a new aviation precinct with additional aircraft stands and taxiways.

NQA CEO Richard Barker highlighted that these extensive upgrades will bolster the airport’s capacity to support tourism, freight, business, and the resources industry.

Upgrading Mackay Airport

In Mackay, the focus will be on upgrading the runway, apron, and taxiway surfaces, alongside developing a mixed retail and commercial precinct. This upgrade is poised to enhance the airport’s functionality and its contribution to the regional economy.

The improvements are projected to create 500 jobs during construction and around 1,500 regional jobs once completed, significantly benefiting local communities.

Economic and Regional Impact

Senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm emphasised the critical role of airports in Australia’s most decentralised state. “Airports like Mackay and Cairns ensure Queensland remains a great place to live and visit,” Chisholm stated.

These projects are exemplary of NAIF’s commitment to stimulating economic growth by supporting essential infrastructure developments.

The Bigger Picture

This investment in Cairns and Mackay airports follows a recent announcement that Perth Airport, the fourth busiest in Australia, is undergoing a A$3 billion terminal and runway expansion to accommodate Qantas and Jetstar flights.

These developments collectively reflect a robust strategy to enhance Australia’s aviation infrastructure, ensuring long-term economic resilience and regional growth.

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