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Tourism boost as Derby Airport receives major upgrade

Tourism boost as Derby Airport receives major upgrade

Regular passenger flights will soon be available to people living in and travelling to the North-West thanks to a major upgrade to Derby Airport.

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price, who attended and spoke at the opening of the facility yesterday, said the construction of a new terminal building with capacity for up to 100 passengers will help establish Derby as a tourist destination in the Kimberley.

“Investing in our regional airports is the first step to getting more Australian and overseas tourists to come and see the beauty and diversity of this part of the country,” Ms Price said.

“This substantial upgrade will help promote Derby as one of the major gateways to the Kimberley, and will open up opportunities for local businesses and tourism operators.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $5.1 million investment will enable the airport to reintroduce important regular passenger transport services.

“This airport upgrade is a great outcome for locals as well as visitors, and we expect around 10,000 people to use the airport in its first year of operation – clearly indicating the community need and support for the airport,” Mr McCormack said.

The project is also making a great positive impact within the community, with 16 jobs supported during construction, including six Community Development Programme participants, and another 17 ongoing roles to be supported once the airport has begun regular passenger flights.

President of the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley Geoff Haerewa said the Council had contributed $2.9 million to the project to promote the region’s tourism potential.

“Every tourist destination needs a functional and comfortable airport, and this modern and secure airport has brand new amenities, check-in and screening areas and briefing lounges, as well as a newly-upgraded apron and taxiway capable of accommodating seaplanes,” Cr Haerewa said.

“Airports are also proven job creators, so we expect this finished project to increase business opportunities, offer new employment in the tourism sector and support the economic development of the Derby-Kimberley area.”

The project was jointly funded with the Federal Government investing $5,099,163 and the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley $2,931,639.

Pic: Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price with Shire of Derby-West Kimberley President Geoff Haerewa at the opening of the Derby Airport yesterday.

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