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Hobart Airport to begin $130m runway works in July

written by Jake Nelson | May 6, 2024

Hobart’s runway is slated for a $130 million upgrade. (Image: Hobart Airport)

Hobart Airport will break ground on its $130 million runway upgrade project in July.

The project, supported by $60 million in federal government funding, will enable Hobart to handle international flights using wide-body aircraft such as the 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350. Currently, Tasmania is the only Australian state or territory without a strong enough runway for these services.

Hobart Airport CEO Norris Carter said the upgrade, which is expected to be completed in mid-2025, will be one of the most significant projects in the airport’s 60-year history and will unlock “a trifecta of opportunities across tourism, trade and the Antarctic”.

“When this project is complete in 2025, it will open the door for international travellers to be able to fly directly to and from Hobart to Asia and beyond, removing the time and cost burden that comes with additional stops that put off many tourists,” he said.

“It also brings opportunities for Tasmanians to travel one-stop to Asia and Europe, without the need for mainland stopovers.


“It will provide Tasmanian farmers with the opportunity to have non-stop flights to key Asian markets to get their produce to market quicker and for a higher premium, cutting the 10 to 36-hour travel time of having to go via Melbourne’s Tullamarine.

“Tasmania’s position as the Gateway to the Antarctic will be bolstered, with direct access from polar and research programs based here in Tasmania, and one-stop Antarctic flights for international programs operating across Asia.”

The runway upgrade is part of Hobart Airport’s master plan, which also includes $200 million to overhaul its terminal.

The current terminal was designed for 1.5 million passengers per year and currently handles 2.6 million, with forecasts of 3.5 million by 2030. The upgrade – to be carried out by Hutchinson Builders – will see the terminal double in size, with works expected to be completed by early 2027.

“We’re backing Tasmania with the $130 million investment to upgrade the runway, plus our $200 million investment in the terminal, and other $20 million investments in the carparks, forecourt and road network,” said Carter.

“The world wants what Tasmania has to offer, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to meet the demand for Tasmania as a destination and as a producer.”

Hobart in April became one of the first major airports in Australia to surpass pre-pandemic levels, with more people travelling through the Tasmanian capital in the first three months of 2024 than any equivalent period in the airport’s history.

Only Air New Zealand flies international passenger services to Hobart, with its Auckland service slated to recommence in October.

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