Melbourne Airport unveils plans for new international terminal

Melbourne Airport unveils plans for new international terminal

Melbourne Airport could soon sport a newer and more modern international terminal as the airport unveils concept plans for a complete revamp of its T2 precinct.

Passengers arriving early for their flights or in longer periods of transit will be able to head outdoors, take in a little natural sunlight and unwind with a refreshing drink in front of live television and sporting screens…

… which can also be seen from the main terminal entrance:

Inside, travellers can check-in and meander to the departure area amidst a little more natural light and space…

… before stopping by new retail outlets…

… walking through the roomy terminal…

… setting up camp in the food court…

… or of course, making a beeline for the existing Qantas First Lounge:

Speaking to investors and government representatives in Victoria, Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff hoped that the new terminal would make travellers aware “that they have arrived in Australia and more specifically, in Melbourne,” for all of the right reasons.

A spokesperson for Melbourne Airport told Australian Business Traveller that development is still subject to approval, but that the airport is “looking to commence construction within the next 18 months.”

Until then, the international arrivals area is being expanded to include additional seating for families and friends awaiting their loved ones, along with more space in the Customs, Quarantine and Immigration areas.

Beginning their journey in Melbourne, passengers can fly directly to destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Shanghai and Brunei, among many others.

From October, United's flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles will skip the Sydney stopover and take on the jetlag-friendly Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

On the domestic front, Virgin Australia unveiled a newly-renovated and expanded Melbourne Airport lounge earlier this year and added a 'Premium Exit' express security screening facility just last month.

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • watson374


    1 Oct, 2014 01:12 pm

    If they want to make passengers feel they've arrived in Melbourne, all the need is a tram cafe with insanely good coffee and a perpetual rain effect.

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  • undertheradar


    1 Oct, 2014 01:47 pm

    fact: Sydney has a higher annual rainfall than Melbourne

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  • bob342


    1 Oct, 2014 02:39 pm

    I think you would be better off having the temperature vary from 35 degrees to 5 degrees over the course of a few hours for the true Melbourne effect :)

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  • SeatNextToYours


    1 Oct, 2014 09:38 pm

    I imagine that's one reason for incorporating the outdoor area...

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  • AJW


    1 Oct, 2014 05:51 pm

    Fact: Melbourne has MORE rainy days on average than Sydney.150 for Melbourne, 143 for Sydney. Also a fact as seen by the fact Sydney has double the rain, in Melbourne it is more constant but not as heavy.

    Besides did you loose your sense of humor along the way? Watson made a good comment and joke.

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  • Nathan Jordan


    2 Oct, 2014 01:18 am

    'Lose' your sense of humour; not 'loose'.

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  • DaveK


    1 Oct, 2014 07:00 pm

    Subject to approval, looking to "commence" construction in 18 months.

    Changi Terminal 4 is scheduled to open in 2017.

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  • somethingy23


    1 Oct, 2014 08:25 pm

    Every airport terminal looks great in the plan but either gets delayed or significantly altered in its design to save costs.

    T2 at LHR might be the only exception in recent years.

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  • Liam Rasmussen


    2 Oct, 2014 01:34 am

    I think we'll start to see a trend in the future where airports are places people go to meet and spend time. Much like major train stations or public spaces, catching a plane will only be one reason to visit an airport.

    I look forward to it! 

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  • Hugo


    2 Oct, 2014 08:51 am

    The airport is way out on the edge of town, and catching a bus there costs seventeen bucks. Or you can park, for about thirty bucks an hour. When you get there, your options are to eat overpriced lacklustre food or drink overpriced lacklustre coffee. 

    Why would anyone go there to just hang out?

    Even if you solved the food and coffee problem and brought them up to the standard of what you can get in the city -- it's still expensive and painful to get to the airport.

    And even if you put something kinda cool there, like SFO's airport museum, I still have no incentive to make a special trip out there because I know that sooner or later I'm going to have hours to kill at the airport anyway.

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  • watson374


    2 Oct, 2014 10:46 am

    Changi is at the far end of Singapore but it's massively popular in the late afternoon with schoolkids going there to procrastinate and eat fast food.

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  • flyingisthebest


    2 Oct, 2014 12:21 pm

    That's because Singapore is a very small country and there aren't many large spaces. So the airport is an option. As well Singapore doesn't charge like $30 plus  (SYD/BNE) return to and from the Airport.

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  • Serg


    2 Oct, 2014 06:45 am

    They plan another mess for a year or so.

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  • Brent


    2 Oct, 2014 09:01 am

    All the focus is on the entrance.... how about the exit?

    The "funnel everyone through one slow point of exit" at the customs check is as painful as it has ever been. Whilst I'm not enamored with CDG, I did like the various custom check locations littered around the terminal so that it spread passengers around reducing congestion.... I could only dream of having the concerege-like bagman I had at Changi airport.

    They should introduce "priority leaving" as an innovation.

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  • Jono


    2 Oct, 2014 09:08 am

    I love it when I read things like 'subject to approval, but that the airport is “looking to commence construction within the next 18 months' in press release and alike.

    It's a proffesional way of saying 'we're not actually planning to do anything, we just want some ink :) It's like when pollies say things like 'it'll be painful now, but a saving of over $40 billion over 50 years'.

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  • Skippybear


    3 Oct, 2014 03:16 pm

    Do we really need an expanded retail section? Australian Duty Free is overpriced when compared to most Asian Airports and even LAX. I have not been stung by credit card surcharges anywhere else either. Hopefully the cost of getting to/from the airport will drop once the trainline is extended to MEL ending the cosey relationship which has existed for many years with Skybus. My brain refuses to calculate the possible revenue on a bus and I have never travelled on an empty one!

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  • gippsflyer


    3 Oct, 2014 04:41 pm

    Melbourne Airport management have different ideas about "welcoming" than the public do. One only has to look at the mess they've made of vehicle access and parking, in their bid to extract every single dollar they can. What used to be a very user friendly layout is now a confused maze, with area access often blocked out with no notice and for no obvious reason, other than to make pre-booking/premium areas the only reasonable choices. The revenue drive wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't for the minimal maintenance program obvious through the terminals. 

    Australian airports are, by and large, a long way off world class.

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  • guerre64


    3 Oct, 2014 05:58 pm

    Actually, you can get to Melbourne airport fairly painlessly and cheaply in just under an hour on public transport, using your myki card - train from North melbourne to Broadmeadows then the 901 bus which drops you right out front of the terminals. Granted, a bit longer than Skybus, but also about $14 or so cheaper for a one way trip.

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  • Skippybear


    3 Oct, 2014 06:14 pm

    I actually take the 901 bus from Ringwood Station. It's $1.24 weekdays each way and free at weekends. There are benefits to being a Senior :-)

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  • guerre64


    3 Oct, 2014 06:19 pm

    That's fantastic Skippy - how long does it take you?

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  • Skippybear


    3 Oct, 2014 06:24 pm

    There's the rub; about 2 hours 20 mins. I'm thinking of going to Human Rights to see about getting an onboard toilet. Sometimes I take the train to Broadie and bus from there which is about 30 mins quicker.

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  • John Leslie


    3 Oct, 2014 07:31 pm

    IF they really want to make life easier for those waiting for international PAX perhaps there could be a sign, perhaps part of the arrivals board, showing which flights were now clearing immigration and customs, or even an estimated time clearance may commence.  Also perhaps  PAX  from specific flights could he directed through specific doors: currently one has to observe two widely separated exits which particularly for the elderly or those without 6/6 vision increases the stresses of waiting.  

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  • John Leslie


    31 Oct, 2014 05:41 pm

    I am sure that if it it pouring with rain or extremely hot international visitors will understand Melbourne Airport's true commitment to their own bottom line customers as soon as they make the very exposed walk out to the very exposed pick up area, and get drenched or cooked as they wait their pickup.   I have made numerous complaints regarding this over several years  and all I get is the usual corporate platitude BS that my opinion is very valuable etc etc then no further response.  I guess all the corporate execs get valet service so just don't care (possibly just don't know)!

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  • John Berg


    14 Oct, 2017 12:29 am

    "Melbourne Airport could soon sport a newer and more modern international terminal"...and
    "A spokesperson for Melbourne Airport told Australian Business Traveller that development is still subject to approval, but that the airport is “looking to commence construction within the next 18 months.”
    This article was published over 3 years ago.
    This construction hasn't been remotely soon, and the 18-month mark is long gone.
    What happened?

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17 Jul, 2019 05:07 am


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