Canberra Airport says the design of its international departures and arrivals hall will offer lounge-like facilities for every passenger.
The airport on Wednesday released some artist’s impressions of the new $18 million facility, which consists of a 2,750 square metre departure lounge and 2,400 square metre arrival hall capable of handling one million passengers a year and concurrent operations by a widebody and narrowbody aircraft.
Designed by Guida Moseley Brown Architects, the international facility is being built by Canberra-based Construction Control.
“We are breaking the rules here,” Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron said in a statement.
“Normally lounges like this are done by airlines for their VIP travellers. We are doing it for every passenger who travels internationally, in and out of Canberra. All our customers will be treated as club lounge members with the best of design, furnishings and amenities in the general public areas.”
In January, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced it would serve the Australian capital four times a week with Boeing 777-200s on a Singapore-Canberra-Wellington rotation.
The inaugural service touches down in Canberra on September 21.
Byron said planning for the international facilities at the airport began the day after SIA’s announcement and the space that had been set aside for international flights would integrate seamlessly with the airport’s current operations and infrastructure.
“We’d always allowed the space for dedicated international facilities, but it wasn’t until we had secured an international carrier with regular scheduled flights that it made economic sense to plan and build the fitout,” Byron said.
“The planning phase started the day after we signed with Singapore Airlines and now we are ready to go full steam ahead with the building.”
“We are working closely with the Australian Border Force, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Office of Transport Security towards the implementation of customs, quarantine and immigration facilities.
“We have delivered the best domestic terminal facility in the country, and will deliver the best international terminal to match it.”
Canberra Airport said the departures lounge would feature business and media lounges, private meeting rooms, a bar and café, and a variety of different seating as well as power and data connections.
There will also be duty free shopping.
Canberra Airport has long lobbied for international services, particularly since its main runway extension was opened in 2006 and its $480 million terminal redevelopment was progressively opened from 2010. The airport terminal’s western concourse, which is home to the capital’s Virgin Australia flights and opened in March 2013, incorporates space for customs and immigration facilities and gates that can accommodate international flights, with the SIA flights to use the airport’s Gate 6.
Canberra’s only direct scheduled international services to date was Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways) briefly operating flights to Nadi in 2004, but, until now at least, the airport has suffered from its close proximity to Sydney Airport.