International travel more than tourism opportunity | Video Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance and Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock in the control tower. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance and Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock in the arrivals section. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance addresses the crowd. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance cutting the ribbon while Newcastle Airport chairman Peter Gesling and CEO Peter Cock watch on. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappcommentCommentsBali, Fiji,Auckland, Singapore and Queenstown remainon top ofNewcastle Airport’s hitlist, after the transport hub’s new international terminal was opened on Friday.
But the state’s transport minister says international travel would boost more than just tourism.
Security and IT equipment, passenger screening technology and furniture for border security agencies wereamong the upgrades unveiled.
WhileCEO Peter Cock said the airport was yet to signan international carrier for flights in and out of Williamtown, he said management was in talks with more than one airline.
“We’ve got active discussions in that context with a number of carriers, both domestically and internationally,” he said.
“Auckland gets you into the [United] states and Fiji has really good networks into the states as well.
“We deserve to have this infrastructure and we deserve to have direct international flights to our region.”
NSW Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constancesaid he had recently seen the benefits of new international services at Canberra Airport.
He said it meant oyster farmers on the NSW far south coast could get their product to market in Asia within 24 hours.
“Therein lies the opportunity,” Mr Constancesaid.
“It’s not just about getting people to visit, it’s not just about providing opportunities for people to leave and travel, it’s also about industry and the opportunities they get.
“I challengeall those international carriers to have a very long, hard look at what opportunity exists [in the Hunter].”
Federal Paterson MP Meryl Swanson agreed and said international travel from Williamtown presented a range of economic opportunities for the region.
In the meantime,Dr Cock said passengers could help airport management’s negotiations withairlines by departing for an international journey on a domestic flight from Newcastle before“hubbing” onto an international service from Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Melbourne.
“While my team can talk the talk to the airlines, we need you to walk the walk with the airlines,” he said.
“What we ask of you is for you to continue to be passionate about travel and about your localairport.”
Outside of international destinations, Dr Cock said the airport was lookingto broadenits domestic reach, with Adelaide at the top of the wish-list.
“There are lots of business connections here, friends and relative traffic and also tourism, so that’s a really key route for us,” he said.
“I think Cairns is [a key route], Hobart, Perth is another route for us.”
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