The project, part of Hobart Airport’s master plan which was approved December 2015, involved lengthening Runway 12/30 by 500m to 2,751m, with a 150m extension at the northern end and 350m at the southern end.
The runway extension also included the relocation of navaids, the construction of jet blast walls, and the extension of the airport’s HIAL (high intensity approach lighting). There were also some associated road works.
The works were recently completed ahead of schedule, enabling aircraft such as the Boeing 777 or Airbus A330 to takeoff with a full payload of passengers and fuel. This would open up destinations in the Asia Pacific.
“The extension will immediately increase our reach as an airport, enabling direct flights from Hobart to South East Asia as an example, and will also enhance Hobart’s role as a gateway to the Antarctic,” Hobart Airport chief executive Sarah Renner said in a statement.
“The runway extension will now allow large, fully loaded aircraft to travel directly from Hobart to the ice continent, making Hobart an extremely competitive Antarctic gateway.”
The Minister and Hobart Airport’s joint statement said the airport had representatives in discussions with airlines to negotiate international flights.
Further, Hobart Airport was also planning to develop a freight handling facility to enable local producers to send their produce direct from Hobart to international export destinations via air freight.
The $40 million runway extension was funded by the Australian Government, which committed $38 million to the project, and Hobart Airport, which provided $2 million.
Hobart Airport handled 2.52 million passengers in 2017, up 40 per cent from 1.8 million in 2009.
A video of the runway extension, released by Hobart Airport and the Minister’s office, can be seen below.