Leighton to construct Melbourne Airport upgrade

Work is scheduled to begin in October and is due for completion in 2015.

Leighton Contractors has won a $370 million construction contract for an upgrade at Melbourne Airport.

The contract includes an integrated transport facility and a new airline terminal for the airport. It will include baggage handling and reclaim facilities, check-in kiosks and associated infrastructure, staff amenities, retail and connections to existing concourses.

The contract will also include the construction of a seven-storey carpark, elevated access roads and ramps, an underground service tunnel, electrical substation and ancillary infrastructure.

Work is scheduled to begin in October and is due for completion in 2015.

Melbourne airport opened in 1970. Thirty million passengers passed through the airport in 2013, up from 28 million passengers in 2012.

It currently has three terminals, including a three-storey central International Terminal and two interconnecting two-storey domestic terminals.

Several airports around Australia are currently undergoing upgrades.

Brisbane Airport Corporation announced in June this year it had started a master plan to guide development at the airport over the next 20 years.

It will include strategies on terminal development, environmental management and sustainability and land use planning.

“Forecasts show that passenger numbers are expected to rise from 21.5 million in 2012 to around 48.7 million in 2033/34, taking into account the substantial growth in the resource sector, which wasn’t considered in the last master plan,” Julieanne Alroe, BAC’s CEO and managing director, said in a statement.

“This level of growth demands that we plan ahead to ensure appropriate and sustainable infrastructure and services, such as roads, terminals and technology are in place.”

Sydney Airport also recently opened StudioT2, a 290sqm fashion and lifestyle precinct at the T2 domestic terminal.

A new preliminary draft master plan for the airport was announced in June this year as part of a strategy to improve traffic flow and airport ground access through configured terminals, new roads and facilities.

“Aviation has changed dramatically over the past decade, with significant advances in aircraft and navigation technology and airlines forming market-changing partnerships to create virtual networks. We’re responding with flexible facilities to meet these changes and provide a superior passenger experience,” Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport chief executive officer, said in a statement.

A new T2/T3 road will establish a widened entrance to the precinct and improve traffic flow.

The airport also plans to develop two integrated precincts for the domestic and international operations at the airport and a bus and multi-use parking facility by 2018.

Meanwhile, in Canberra, the first international flight recently flew out of the city to Auckland.

The new terminal will be fully completed by the end of this year. It will include international facilities, such as customs, quarantine and immigration.

In Hobart, the Coalition government has committed to investing $38 million to extend the runway at Hobart airport.

Rod Parry, Hobart Airport’s chief executive officer, said the investment would allow heavier airport to operate in and out of the city. It would also allow the airport to seek direct international charter flights, in conjunction with its partners.

This could include allowing aircraft such as A330 and B777 to operate from the airport and fly directly to destinations such as Shanghai.

Larger aircraft will also be able to operate return flights to Antarctica without the need to refuel.