Ballina Byron Gateway Airport experienced record passenger numbers in 2016 – nudging the magic half-million mark – and management says airport improvements are on the way.
In the 12 months to November 30, some 481,150 passengers passed through its gate lunges, a seven per cent increase over the previous year.
October was its busiest month ever recorded with 47,437 passengers passing through the airport that month alone.
Passenger loads are also improving. Aircraft were 86 per cent full in October and 87 per cent in November this year. And that figure held across all airlines in both directions.
This month saw the introduction of additional services to Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle, with some 12,500 extra seats for the summer holiday period.
Airport manager Neil Weatherson said, it had been ‘an amazing 12 months.’
‘We are continuing to improve our airport for our customers to meet with increased demand and we have commenced works on the design and documentation of a $5.4m enhancement of the terminal precinct,’ he said.
The project will double the capacity of the existing terminal and triple the size of the departure lounge, as well as allowing for a new café, sports bar and three additional retail outlets.
It will also include construction of a new set-down/pick-up area, a new entrance road and significant landscaping works.
Mr Weatherson said airport staff were ‘incredibly proud of our achievements this year.’
For flight information visit www.ballinabyronairport.com.au