Launceston Airport upgrade begins

REVAMP: Artist's impressions show the new boards that could be part of the Launceston Airport departures lounge.
REVAMP: Artist's impressions show the new boards that could be part of the Launceston Airport departures lounge.

Work has begun on the latest development at Launceston Airport.

When it is completed, the airport will boast a new security screening area, which the airport’s general manager said will help to improve service punctuality.

The $2 million project will see the security screening area moved to sit adjacent to the existing airline check-in desks.

The move will mean that passengers will be able to pass through security before entering the dining and shopping area.

General manager Paul Hodgen said the relocation would go a long way to easing screening and boarding congestion.

“Now, people are waiting for when their plane arrives, and then rush through security, causing congestion,” Mr Hodgen said.

“[The new process will] also have punctuality benefits to the airlines.”

Mr Hodgen said airport management was also exploring further revamps for its shopping and dining area, which already underwent a transformation last year.

He said they were investigating installing departure boards, similar to those in the new domestic terminal at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport, which give time indications as to when gates will open for boarding.

While work has already begun, passengers won’t notice anything major until the winter months.

Mr Hodgen said he expected that the security screening work would take place about August, after the peak season for the airport had passed.

Traditionally, airlines tend to drop off any extras services or flights that they may have introduced over summer, around this time of year.

However, Mr Hodgen said, some airlines had not only kept the services running, but added more.

Virgin Australia, he said, look to be adding additional services on Melbourne and Brisbane routes throughout April, especially around Launceston AFL games, and the V8 Supercars Tasmanian round at Symmons Plains.

Qantas is also upgrading some of its services from the smaller Dash 8s to Boeing 717s, to cope with extra traffic on three dates in April.

There is more development in store for the airport, with a tender to be awarded shortly for works to upgrade the taxi rank area.

The tender for the $2 million development was awarded to Vos Constructions.