New terminal ready for take off

EXCITED: Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council mayor Julie Low and acting chief executive officer Leith Blacker in the new departure lounge at the new Port Lincoln airport terminal, which will open on Tuesday.
EXCITED: Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council mayor Julie Low and acting chief executive officer Leith Blacker in the new departure lounge at the new Port Lincoln airport terminal, which will open on Tuesday.
EYRE LOUNGE: The new licenced cafe area.

EYRE LOUNGE: The new licenced cafe area.

NEW TERMINAL: A mural by local artist Karen Carr will be installed in the main check-in area ready for the first day of operation on Tuesday.

NEW TERMINAL: A mural by local artist Karen Carr will be installed in the main check-in area ready for the first day of operation on Tuesday.

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SECURITY SCREENING: Passengers will be screened on their way into the departure lounge.

SECURITY SCREENING: Passengers will be screened on their way into the departure lounge.

PASSENGERS flying out of the Port Lincoln Airport on Tuesday morning will be the first to use the long-awaited new terminal.

The first scheduled flight from the new terminal will be QantasLink's 6.40am departure.

Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council mayor Julie Low said the opening of the new $13.2 million terminal and airport upgrade was a milestone for the council and the Eyre Peninsula community.

"It's a culmination of lots of hard work; hours and hours of work by our staff," she said.

"They've worked for a long long time putting this together."

Ms Low said increasing passenger numbers and the increased screening requirements required for QantasLink flights had triggered the need for a new terminal and she expected to see passenger numbers continue to grow.

"Our growth in passenger numbers has been steady for a number of years and we see no reason for that not to continue."

While construction ran about six weeks behind schedule Ms Low said it was expected to run to budget and the most important thing was making sure the new terminal ran efficiently right from the start.

"It's a beautiful, bright, airy building, there's lots of space, you'll be able to have a cup of coffee, you'll be able to sit in some comfort, what more could you want."

Outgoing airport manager Peter Aird said grant funding from the federal and state government had helped the council deliver the new terminal without any great increase in costs for passengers.

He said the passenger levy had gone up by $1.20 about six months ago but that was the only increase required to fund the project.

Ms Low said the council had not formally considered whether to introduce paid parking at the airport but it would look at the options presented by a consultant that had been employed to investigate the options.

For passengers flying out from the terminal next week the process will be much the same as the old terminal with the same check-in cut off times.

The new roadway to the terminal will be clearly marked and the drop off area will work similarly to the current drop off area in front of the old terminal.

The new terminal includes four check-in desks with weigh scales and conveyors to take baggage through the screening process, which will bring the airport into line with Australian requirements for baggage screening.

The main car park caters for 200 cars, with space to develop more parking as it is needed and the terminal itself is also designed to be expanded in the future, with the design allowing for the building to be expanded at both ends.

The new extended apron provides additional parking for aircraft in front of the new terminal and the new taxiway will cater for the needs of aircraft operators into the future.

Some of the finishing touches on the project such as the landscaping will be completed after the building is in use.

An official opening of the new terminal will be held next month.