The Launceston Airport marked its 20th anniversary of privatisation on Tuesday by putting the focus on its staff.
The 27-strong crew were front and centre at the birthday celebrations, which saw board members fly from Melbourne to attend the event.
Many of those staff have worked at the airport since privatisation and have witnessed immense change, according to safety, security standards and compliance co-ordinator Georgette Findlay.
Ms Findlay started working at the airport in 1989 and said there was a reason so many of the staff had stayed for so long.
“Every day is different and all the staff get along so well, so it’s like a big family here,” she said.
“We work under the banner of one airport, one team and we tend to stick to it.”
The airport was acquired by Australia Pacific Airports Corporation from Federal Airports Corporation, a former federal government business enterprise, in 1998.
It has undergone more than $65 million of infrastructure upgrades in the past 10 years.
General manager Paul Hodgen said the airport’s status as Australia’s Major Airport of the Year, as judged by the Australian Airport Association, in 2015, 2016 and 2017 could not have happened without privatisation.
“This whole privatisation piece has enabled us to unlock investment in airports that has seen them grow in a way that Launceston in particular has,” Mr Hodgen said.
“I don’t think this would have happened under government control.”
Launeston mayor Albert van Zetten applauded the development of the airport and expressed his hopes fo
“We really have to start pushing for an international runway here so we can get direct links with Asia and China,” he said.