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Labor pledges $60m to fund Hobart Airport upgrade

written by Hannah Dowling | April 26, 2022

Australian Aviation photographer Rob Finlayson was onsite to see Cathay Pacific’s first run from Hobart to Hong Kong on its A350-900 in December. (Rob Finlayson)

Labor has pledged $60 million to upgrade Hobart Airport in order to service long-haul aircraft, supporting international widebody freight and passenger flights, should they clinch the coming election.

The announcement, made on Tuesday by shadow minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development Catherine King, would see the airport’s runways and facilities both upgraded, to support growing tourism and export markets in Tasmania.

“Infrastructure investments like this unlock massive potential,” Minister King said.

“Our investments announced today will have lasting benefits for the state, driving the economy forward and creating thousands of secure local jobs.”

The new funding would support the next phase of Hobart Airport’s upgrades, after phase one, which lengthened the runway by 5oo metres, was completed in 2017. Phase one was completed with the assistance of a $38 million grant from the federal government.

Phase two, which will strengthen the newly lengthened runway to allow for sustained use by heavier, widebody aircraft, is expected to cost $80 million in total.

Together, the upgrades will see Hobart Airport upgraded to a Code E class airport, meaning it will soon be capable of regularly handling Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Airbus A330s, and A350-100s.

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According to Hobart Airport CEO Norris Carter, Tasmania is currently the only state in the country that does not have a Code E runway and noted that the announcement marks a huge step for direct overseas connections with Tasmania.

“While the runway has been long enough for widebody aircraft, it has not been strong enough for sustained regular services, but this undertaking will make this a thing of the past,” he said.

“It will significantly assist the development of a Code E standard runway and be of significant benefit to all Tasmania.”

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Meanwhile, Member for Franklin and shadow minister for agriculture Julie Collins said the new upgrades to Hobart Airport will present new opportunities for local businesses to export their goods overseas.

“This project is one of the most important in our state, it will take our goods to the world and bring more tourists to our beautiful region,” she said.

“It is only Labor that is going to make the investments that matter for the future of our state.”

According to KPMG modelling, the project could also generate around $122 million in economic activity per year going forward.

Comments (4)

  • Nicholas

    says:

    Funny, here I was thinking that Hobart Airport was a privately owned Airport.

    It’s gets an expansion, which I assume will give it extra revenue and now silly Labor is handing over good tax payers money. Lots of it….

    No mention of a loan, just free money..

    Who do I have to ask to get my house upgraded for free?

    Madness…..

  • Andrew

    says:

    How many daily international flights from New Zealand are using the 2017 upgraded runway?

  • FFDazza

    says:

    Is there a plan for a Virgin lounge and a larger QF lounge in the bucket of cash?
    The HBA 215 “Master Plan” called out for
    “provision for the construction of two future new and larger Airline
    lounges.”

  • marcus

    says:

    Sounds like good targeted infrastructure upgrade this country needs. Not just widely distributed one off payments pre election which buys next to nothing.

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