Newcastle Airport - the second busiest airport in NSW and the 12th busiest in Australia, with 170 domestic flights a week and 1.2 million passengers a year - is located in the Port Stephens council region, just 25 minutes from the Port Stephens holiday centre of Nelson Bay, providing a strategic gateway for interstate and overseas visitors. A 95-room hotel, worth $8 million, is currently being built next to the airport and will be open in 2015.
Newcastle Airport’s Manager for Aviation Business Development, David Nye, said the October 24 record was 44 per cent above the normal daily average of 3200 passengers.
“A combination of several major conferences in Port Stephens, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, major sporting events around Australia, the school holidays and the October long weekend led to Newcastle Airport’s sixth busiest month ever in October, confirming the gateway is meeting strong demand for travel to our region and underlining locals’ strong desire to travel,” Mr Nye said.
He said a $14.5 million expansion of Newcastle Airport, which will see the terminal area doubled, was slated for completion in late-2015, paving the way for possible international services to the airport in the near future. “The continued growth of passenger numbers into Newcastle Airport, as evidenced by our records last month, show the future potential for the facility is extremely bright and that the NSW Government’s $11.5 million investment in the terminal expansion is money well spent,” Mr Nye said.
Virgin Australia, Jetstar, QantasLink and Regional Express offer direct flights between Newcastle and Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, the Gold Coast, Ballina and Taree. Both Virgin Australia and Jetstar recently began co-listing Newcastle Airport as ‘Newcastle-Port Stephens’ on their websites and booking engines in recognition of Port Stephens’ growing appeal as a destination for leisure and corporate travellers.
Destination Port Stephens CEO, Janelle Gardner said Newcastle Airport was crucial to Port Stephens’ expanding $400 million-a-year visitor economy and the region’s drive to attract more visitors from interstate and overseas.
“Our long-term campaign to lure more domestic and international conference delegates and holidaymakers to our region via Newcastle Airport is clearly paying dividends,” Ms Gardner said. “Port Stephens offers stunning coastal scenery, adventure activities, gourmet food and wine and first-rate accommodation and conference facilities and the proximity of Newcastle Airport to all this makes us an increasingly compelling destination.”
For information on Port Stephens, visit www.portstephens.org.au