Canberra Airport will open the second wing of its revamped terminal in mid-March as the airport's ambitious 'AirVolution' upgrade nears completion.
Airport spokeswoman Jane Seaborn confirmed March 13 as ribbon-cutting day for the second stage of the airport's slick terminal revamp, following the late 2010 opening of the southern concourse used by Qantas.
The ground-up rebuild of the terminal's western concourse will be home to Virgin Australia, which plans two lounges for the capital city hub, along with regional airlines.
It will also be home to international flights with space set aside for customs, immigration and quarantine facilities.
However, Seaborn told Australian Business Traveller that this fitout won't take place until international services are ready to begin.
Air New Zealand is already in discussions with the airport over possible flights to Auckland or Wellington.
Air NZ's Australia general manager Cam Wallace predicted that direct Canberra services will happen "at some stage" and flagging a tentative timeframe of 12 to 18 months, according to a report in trade journal Travel Today earlier this month.
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron previously told Australian Business Traveller that Singapore and China are other likely destinations, with Canberra acting as a de facto second airport for Sydney.
The terminal's new western concourse wing will equipped with five additional aerobridges – all air-conditioned and built with floor-to-ceiling glass – a doubling of the passenger screening area, and 12 additional check-in counters to meet current and future demand.
The southern and western wings will be joined by a soaring three-storey glass atrium with a view of the runway as well as the landscaped gardens in front the terminal.
"Unlike other airports, where you see check-in counters as you enter, passengers at Canberra Airport will be welcomed by views of the waiting aircraft" the airport boasts.
Other improvements rolled out as part of the $450m investment include upgraded runways and aprons capable of handling an Airbus A380, multi-level car parks, an indoor taxi rank and a two level dual-lane roadway.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.