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Byron Shire
November 27, 2021

Record year for Ballina Airport

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Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (supplied pic).
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport (supplied pic).

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

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  1. Passenger numbers are up at Ballina Airport.
    Ballina tourist numbers were supposed to have been down because of all the shark scares so passenger numbers and tourist numbers are different. When is a tourist number not a passenger number? I suppose when the passenger does not go near the water. So the passenger numbers could have been business numbers. If they were business numbers then business for Ballina has been up. But it has been reported elsewhere that business was down due to the shark scares in Ballina.
    it says here in this article that an extra 12,500 seats on flights are for the summer holiday period, so they would be tourist numbers. Maybe those tourists will or won’t go into the water and maybe the tourists who are afraid of the sharks come by car.
    Is this shark menace only in local papers and not broadcast in the national papers? Everyone here of the Northern Rivers is afraid of sharks. The media has been in a frenzy about it.

  2. Ripe fruit ready for the picking!

    Those passenger numbers light up the eyes of greedy entrepreneurs who would gladly divert the revenue from public assets to a bigger pool for their backyard.

    I’ll bet those aldermen on Ballina Council representing the interests of capital rather than the majority of ratepayers are salivating with the prospect.

    Surely Council can find a way to harness this opportunity for the benefit of ratepayers generally rather than a chosen few.

    Look around you. The neo liberal model is failing the common person. Keep public assets in public hands with proper government scrutiny.

  3. The numbers showing the airport is busier than ever are gross numbers. I’m sure they include tourists and business travelers but don’t forget all the Northern Rivers residents who travel to and from home. You just cannot make judgements based on these numbers.


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