The first significant upgrade of the Cairns Airport’s international terminal building for over 30 years will start next month, with contractors poised to commence work on a multi-million-dollar overhaul.
Hutchinson Builders have signed on to deliver the redevelopment, which will be rolled out in stages to minimise passenger disruption.
Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Richard Barker said trades would be onsite from March, and work was due to begin early in April, starting with the removal of the terminal’s distinctive blue carpet, which will be replaced with modern tiles.
“The terminal will be transformed into a contemporary space that reflects the dynamic atmosphere of our region from the moment visitors arrive. It will be a space that locals can be proud of, using materials, imagery and design elements that showcase our unique environment and cultural values.”
The first stage of the redevelopment will involve a complete refurbishment of the check-in and arrivals areas, including new escalators, elevators, bathrooms, fresh paint, artwork and furnishings.
The external façade of the terminal will also be re-cladded. Four new, state-of-the-art glass airbridges will be installed, giving passengers a panoramic view of the mountains and waterways as soon as they land.
The first raft of upgrades is expected to take about 14 months to complete and will generate up to 100 jobs during the construction phase.
The second stage will enhance passengers’ arrival experience with new baggage reclaim belts and an expanded area to increase capacity. The departure area will be overhauled during the third phase with a new layout and seating spaces.
Overall, $40-$50 million will be invested in the upgrade.
Mr Barker said the renewed terminal would integrate Traditional Custodians’ connection to Country and prioritise local suppliers and sustainable practices such as reducing water use and waste and increasing energy efficiency.
“Lighting, materials, furnishing and greenery have been selected to reflect each of Far North Queensland’s rich landscapes in different areas of the terminal, from the rainforest to the reef, coast and mangroves.”