News Briefs

    Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirms federal government’s approval of Gold Coast Airport’s ILS

    Gold Coast Airport welcomed (02-Mar-2017) the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decision to affirm the federal government’s approval of its instrument landing system (ILS). The AAT was appealed by local protest groups to review the government’s approval that was issued in Jan-2016. Airport COO Marion Charlton stated both parties have agreed to apply noise abatement procedures to ensure use of ILS by jet aircraft is limited to times of increased cloud coverage or reduced visibility except during emergencies. The airport is currently reviewing project timeline to determine whether the ILS will be installed and operational in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.


    Nadi International Airport modernisation project could complete a month ahead by Mar/Apr-2017

    Airports Fiji Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan announced Nadi International Airport’s modernisation project could complete by Mar/Apr-2017, a month earlier than expected (Fiji Times/Fiji Village, 02-Mar-2017). The FJD130 million (USD62.7 million) project that commenced in early 2015 worked on renovating the departure and arrivals hall to provide better facilities such as a non-denominational prayer room and smokers room.


    Nadi International Airport opens new departure drop off

    Nadi International Airport opened its new departure drop off area to the public on 03-Mar-2017 (Fiji Times/Fiji Village, 02-Mar-2017). The development is part of a wider terminal modernisation project that commence since 2015. Airports Fiji Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan stated the authority also plans to expand the car park capacity.


    Airports Fiji Limited plans to extend runway and replace terminal at Suva Nausori Airport

    Airports Fiji Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan revealed plans to extend Suva Nausori International Airport‘s runway and replace its ageing terminal (Fiji Village, 03-Mar-2017). The runway will be extended from 1868m to around 2300m to accommodate 737 night services. Mr Khan stated preparations are underway and construction on the runway and new terminal are expected to commence in 2H2018 and 4Q2018 respectively.


    SAFC reports on first Agile Focus Group meeting

    South Australian Freight Council (SAFC) reported (27-Feb-2017) the following outcomes of its first Agile Focus Group meeting in Feb-2017:

    • Adelaide Airport master plans foreshadow a move to a purpose built dedicated airfreight park at the ‘Airport East’ precinct. Industry support for the move is high, with some players ready to move as soon as the new facilities are complete;
    • Adelaide Airport curfew: The industry expects the curfew to remain, but sees: “room for tweaks around the edges to make it work better for industry”. SAFC stated: “as the airport grows closer to capacity over coming decades, the impact of the curfew is likely to grow”.
    • Discussions were also held on services and costs, “the contested air freight hinterlands” of South Australia and how to attract ‘hinterland’ freight through Adelaide.


    Mount Gambier Airport receives additional development funding, raise total project cost to USD9.25m

    Mount Gambier Airport received (28-Feb-2017) an additional AUD1.086 million (USD821,973) from South Australia government for its infrastructure upgrade project, raising the total project cost to AUD12.22 million (USD9.25 million). Works include extending and strengthening the runway, apron upgrades, new taxiways and a realignment of the Airport Road. The project will be jointly funded by state government and airport owner District Council of Grant, however the council is seeking contributions from neighbouring councils and federal government. The airport is currently served by Regional Express that operate routes to Adelaide and Melbourne.


    AAI receives approval to develop manufacturing facility at Central Coast Airport

    Central Coast council approved the first stage of development works for Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI) manufacturing facility at Central Coast Airport (Lakes Mail, 02-Mar-2017). The company manufactures HU-16 Models A-E and G-111 Albatross Amphibian Aircraft. Development of AAI’s new facility is estimated to cost around AUD100 million (USD75 million) to include a 2760sqm hangar, office and showroom.


    TTF welcomes capacity additions and new routes into Far North Queensland

    Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) reported (02-Mar-2017) planned service and frequency additions by Tigerair Australia and Jetstar Airways from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Far North Queensland will increase seat capacity to the region by more than 168,000 seats p/a. The two airlines have announced routes that will add 18 new frequencies per week by late Jun-2016. Tigerair Australia will launch Brisbane-Whitsunday and Melbourne-Townsville routes and add frequencies on two existing routes. Jetstar plans to launch Sydney-Proserpine and increase Melbourne-Proserpine from three to four times weekly. TTF CEO Margy Osmond welcomed the capacity additions, commenting: “Tourism has never been more important to Far North Queensland, which has been hit hard by the slowing of the resources industry”.


    NZ Government approves USD1.8m in funding for regional tourism infrastructure

    New Zealand Tourism Minister Paula Bennett announced (02-Mar-2017) NZD2.5 million (USD1.8 million) in New Zealand Government funding for new tourist attractions in Rotorua and Southland, as part of the Tourism Growth Partnership. Funding awards are:

    • Skyfly Limited: NZD810,000 (USD571,000);
    • Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter: NZD630,325 (USD444,600);
    • Classic Motorcycle Mecca: NZD550,000 (USD390,000);
    • Curio Bay Tumu Toka Natural Heritage Centre and Experience: NZD500,000 (USD353,000).

    Ms Bennett said the intention of the initiatives is to stimulate tourism and creating jobs for the regions and a new infrastructure funding round is expected to “open soon”. Since the inception of the partnership in 2013 a total of NZD23.5 million (USD16.5 million)has been invested in 33 projects.


    Visitor arrival to Samoa down 2% to 11,370 in Oct-2016

    Samoa’s Bureau of Statistics reported (15-Jan-2017) visitor arrivals to Samoa down 2.2% year-on-year in Oct-2016. Details include:

    • Visitor arrivals: 11,370, -2.2 year-on-year;
      • New Zealand: 5696;
      • Australia: 2214;
      • USA: 761.


    Gold Coast tourism up 16% for year to Sep-2016, lea by North Asian markets

    Gold Coast Tourism reported (22-Feb-2017) international visitor arrivals increased 16% year-on-year for the year to Sep-2016. Total visitor spending for the period was AUD1.3 billion (USD0.98 billion). Chinese arrivals increased 33%. Queensland Government Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said the region is experiencing “really strong growth” in a number of Asian markets including ChinaHong KongTaiwan and South Korea.