An artist impression of the upgrade plans for the exterior of Adelaide Airport. (Supplied: Adelaide Airport)
Adelaide Airport is warning commuters of impending disruptions in its main terminal, as it embarks on its biggest upgrade in more than a decade.
It has unveiled a $165 million dollar upgrade to the terminal, boosting retail and dining space by 80 per cent and creating 16,500 new square metres of floor space.
Construction will begin immediately.
Managing Director Mark Young said the airport was working to minimise the impact on passengers during construction, but warned there may be some short-term pain in the pursuit of long-term gain.
“I think everybody will understand that it’s worth a little bit of disruption… because you can see that at the end you’ll have a significantly improved experience,” he said.
“We’re planning for it to be business as usual.”
The terminal was opened less than 13 years ago, but Mr Young said passenger growth had been faster than expected and the project was needed to cope with continued growth to 2029.
He said he hoped the upgrade would also entice international carriers to bring flights to the city.
“We are very voracious in our appetite to attract new airlines to South Australia… it’s one of our aspirations to have a direct service to the west coast of the US,” Mr Young said.
The upgrade will include a new duty free precinct planned for the Adelaide Airport. (Supplied: Adelaide Airport)
Focus on ‘improving travel experience’
The other focus of the upgrade will be to improve the travel experience for passengers.
Mr Young said the upgrade would also create more retail and dining options within the terminal for all travellers.
“This project will be the biggest single infrastructure project that Adelaide Airport has undertaken since 2005,” he said.
“We want to ensure that Adelaide Airport continues to provide the highest level of customer experience.”
Mr Young said local passenger numbers had increased by close to 50 per cent since the existing terminal opened, and international passenger numbers had almost tripled.
The project is expected to be completed in 2021, with construction company Watpac appointed as the builder, moving on site within the next two weeks.
A second, longer baggage belt for arrivals, more space for emigration and immigration processing and an expanded security screening area are all included in the plan, as well as a larger duty free precinct and expanded dining and retail options.
The expansion will include an upgraded retail precinct at Adelaide Airport. (Supplied: Adelaide Airport)
Gate 18 at the airport is set to become a permanent international gate, other international gates will continue to utilise Adelaide Airport’s unique swing gate system to allow both international and domestic operations.
Adelaide Airport Chairman, Rob Chapman said the upgrade would allow for more options when negotiating new services and destinations for the airport.
“We believe Adelaide Airport has the best airport terminal in Australia, and this expansion will allow us to continue to offer the high level of customer service that our travellers expect,” he said.
The Marshall Government welcomed the expansion, highlighting its positive impact on the South Australian economy — it is expected that the workforce will create some 200 jobs.
Tourism Minister David Ridgway said the project was great news for both tourists and business.
“With the big defence contracts we have, Adelaide will be an even bigger focus for international business people,” he said.
“To have a bigger, better facility for that interconnectivity is great news for South Australia and we congratulate the airport for taking the step.”
The upgrade will also include a new common user premium international lounge, new facilities for international arrivals and departures, a relocation of the Virgin Australia Lounge and an expansion of office space for terminal tenants.