Construction commences on largest ever international terminal expansion at Melbourne Airport
Jan 15, 2008
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese today officially commenced construction on the largest upgrade to Melbourne Airport’s international terminal since it was built in the late 1960s.
The expansion program, which will add a combined total of 25,000m² of new space to T2 (International), will be undertaken through a series of individual projects at a combined total cost of over $330m.
Minister Albanese, who was joined today by Victoria’s Minister for Industry and Trade, Information Technology, Major Projects, Theo Theophanous, undertook the symbolic ‘sod turning (with a difference)’ by activating a 20-tonne concrete crane and removing a half-metre deep, 3 x 3-metre sized chunk of airfield concrete, the very first step in the five-year series of projects that will upgrade the international terminal.
The first of the expansion projects, which commenced today, will see Melbourne Airport add an entirely new outbound passenger processing zone, including a new security and Customs precinct to the Departures level, which will be completed in early 2010.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to turn the first sod on one of Victoria’s largest construction projects here at Melbourne Airport. This is a great step in the development of one of Australia’s most important pieces of transport infrastructure,” said Minister Albanese.
“The Melbourne Airport upgrade will ensure Victoria has a modern, high quality and innovative international airport to cater for Australians travelling overseas and visitors coming to Australia,” said the Transport Minister.
Victorian Minister for Industry and Trade, Information Technology, Major Projects, Theo Theophanous congratulated Melbourne Airport on this major step in what will be one of the largest construction projects in Victoria.
“This is an important milestone in what will be a new era for aviation in Victoria,” Minister Theophanous said.
“This site will be a hive of construction over the next four years, and will deliver Victoria a state-of-the-art terminal that will ensure the growth of international airline services into the state, boosting tourism and trade avenues and offering more travel options for all Victorians.”
Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said the airport’s history of delivering major construction projects on-time and on-budget would ensure passengers and airport visitors noticed minimal changes during the construction. By staging the expansions as a series of projects, the airport could ensure operations continued as normal.
“We have a proven track record of delivering some of the biggest construction projects in this state whilst operating one of the country’s busiest transport hubs,” said Mr Woodruff.
“Ensuring Victorians do not experience any inconvenience during the works will be a key focus of the expansion projects. We are acutely aware of the importance of having an efficient, comfortable international terminal to serve Victorians – regardless of development plans.”
Mr Woodruff also made mention of Melbourne Airport’s key focus on worksite safety.
“The safety of our staff and our passengers has been, and will always be, our absolute number one priority,” said Mr Woodruff. “Together with our partner John Holland Group, we achieved no workplace injuries or incidents during our award-winning runway widening project in 2005, for example. We will take this same ‘no nonsense’ approach to our works over the next 5 years.”
Today’s commencement is the first in the series of projects that make up the developments to T2 (International). The development’s most visible changes – an entire new passenger concourse and a 5,000m² retail precinct, will commence in February and November this year respectively, with a completion date for all projects set for late 2011.
Mr Woodruff said since the announcement of the works in August last year, Victorians had reacted positively to the expansion plans.
“Our airlines, the Victorian tourism industry and our passengers have all responded with enormous enthusiasm to future of T2. We are excited to be delivering to this state what will be Australia’s most efficient and impressive international airport,” he said.
Victorians can take a tour of the future international terminal by visitingwww.melbourneairport.com.au/t2/.