Melbourne Airport


Southern Precinct project to boost domestic aviation growth

Mar 21, 2012

Melbourne Airport’s proposed Southern Precinct project will strengthen Melbourne’s position as the centre of growth in domestic air travel, and provide a significant boost to the Victorian economy during its construction and operation.

The project is part of a proposed program of investment by Melbourne Airport over the next five years budgeted in excess of $1 billion, making Melbourne Airport one of the largest private investors in infrastructure projects in Victoria.

Melbourne Airport is publishing today its Preliminary Draft Major Development Plan (MDP) for the Southern Precinct project for public consultation and comment as part of the planning process for on-airport developments under the Commonwealth Airports Act 1996.

Stage 1 of the Southern Precinct project is focused on the area south of the existing T3 terminal and around the T4 terminal, and includes the phased development of:

  • a new domestic terminal facility designed to cater for up to 20 million passengers per annum and an ultimate area of 35,000 square metres;
  • 35 additional aircraft parking aprons and taxi lanes to accommodate future growth;
  • two new multi-level structures for ground transport services, with additional car parking spaces, and access to other services such as taxis, shuttle buses and public transport;
  • upgrading of the airport road network to provide access to the new terminal precinct and to support the future growth of Melbourne Airport over the next 30 to 40 years.

Phase one of the Southern Precinct project has an estimated cost of up to $300 million.

Subject to Board and planning approvals, it is proposed to commence construction in October 2012 and to have the new terminal facility open for operation by July 2014.

The project is expected to create up to 400 jobs on site at any one time during the 16-month construction period.

Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff, said the Southern Precinct project represented an exciting stage in the continuing development of Melbourne Airport, and was driven by strong passenger growth.

“We are in ongoing discussions with prospective users of the new terminal about its configuration and operation.”

“While domestic aviation has been through a challenging period, this investment is a significant vote of confidence in the future of Melbourne Airport as Victoria’s gateway,” Mr Woodruff said.

“In addition to the economic and employment benefits created during the construction period, this project will deliver ongoing benefits to Melbourne and Victoria by facilitating the growth of airlines, including the basing of additional aircraft in Melbourne and the introduction of new services.

“This creates jobs with the airlines and the businesses that support their operations in areas such as catering, ground handling and maintenance, in addition to the benefits to the wider economy through increased visitor numbers to Melbourne and Victoria for business or leisure.”

“It also ensures that Victorians and visitors to our city and State have access to a wide choice of destinations, services and a competitive market for airfares,” Mr Woodruff said.

The public consultation period is a requirement of the Commonwealth Airports Act 1996 for major development projects at Commonwealth-leased airports. The Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure and Transport gives final approval for the project.  The views of Local and State Government are also sought as part of this process, along with other stakeholders.

“We are encouraged by the support already expressed from key stakeholders for this important project, and I invite interested parties to look at our plans and provide comment,” Mr Woodruff said.

The Preliminary Draft MDP will be available for review and comment for 30 business days, closing at 5.00pm on Monday, 7 May 2012.   Copies will be available at Level 2, Terminal 2, Melbourne Airport or from

Click here to download a PDF version of this media release.


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