Central Highlands Regional Council endorsed the Emerald Airport Terminal Redevelopment Concept Design this week following Australian Government requirements to upgrade airport security screening procedures.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the upgrades presented development opportunities for the entire region, but funding for the $3 million redevelopment needed to be found.
‘The Australian Government, through the Department of Home Affairs have directed regional airport, including Emerald, to upgrade screening procedures by December 2020 or they will be deemed non-conformant with the Aviation Security Regulator,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘The current airport building does not support the installation for the new equipment and council is currently exploring funding opportunities from various levels of government.’
The upgrades require physical changes to the airport to accommodate larger body scanners and are also expected to change the procedure for passengers travelling through. Emerald Airport terminal users met late last year to discuss the impact of the changed security environment and develop a concept design in collaboration with architects that addressed all the issues whilst needing the least physical changes to the terminal.
‘Airport management have advised that the group unanimously support the concept which includes a new screening area as a built-out area adjacent to the current drop-off zone,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘A new drop-off zone must be constructed likely in the short-term car park area.
‘This investment complements council’s plan to deliver a long-term vision of the Emerald Airport Precinct – a state-of-the-art service hub with a dedicated local disaster management centre, parking spaces for the almost 200,000 travellers that pass through the airport each year and meeting spaces for businesses.
‘The vision is to recognise the Emerald Airport as the important connectivity hub that it is, with development opportunities for the airport and businesses in our region.’