29.9 C
Byron Shire
March 28, 2023

Ballina airport taking off

Latest News

Local skateboarders ready for Ballina contest and NCAS tryouts

The Fair Go skate competition will take place at the Ballina Skate Park from this Friday March 31 and...

Other News

Roller derby rocks the Cavanbah Centre

The local roller derby season got underway for the year with local teams hosting the Northern Rivers Revolt earlier...

Rethinking the tourism paradigm

The past three years have been a fairly challenging time for the Byron tourism Industry, after fires, floods, and a pandemic. According to local tourism organisation, Destination Byron, now seems the right time to rethink the tourism paradigm for Byron.


The federal opposition sure has a hide accusing Labor of lying. It was John Howard who introduced the concept...

Feros stolen

The Feros board have failed to explain why the existing buildings cannot be redeveloped as a purpose-built, top-of-the-range, aged-care...

The dog thing

I have to acknowledge the eloquent detail of David Heilpern’s description concerning the issues around recalcitrant dog ownership in...

We all live in a magic submarine…

Several commentators have remarked that, while the mainstream media is locked in furious agreement with the government over AUKUS and the trillion dollar submarines (a guess at the final price tag), social and independent media are telling quite a different tale.

L-R: Airport Manager Paul Tsikleas; Councillor, Keith Williams; Ben Franklin MLC; Councillor Ben Smith; Mayor David Wright; Councillors Eoin Johnston, Sharon Parry and Stephen McCarthy.

It’s the third-biggest airport in NSW, its visitor numbers are increasing and it’s in public hands.

No wonder it was all smiles today at Ballina Byron Gateway airport as Ballina mayor David Wright (whose council contributed $2.4m) thanked Ben Franklin MLC (the NSW government contributed $4.5m), saying he was ‘delighted that we have more than tripled the departure lounge area to create a much more comfortable space for passengers’.

The airport was first built 34 years ago by Ballina Council with money from the development of nearby commercial land, and according to Councillor Wright its development is like a ‘jigsaw’ with infrastructure pieces being gradually added over time.

Future stages include expanded parking, and the re-routing of the airport entrance road past the current Harvey Norman centre and through the planned new 3 hectare innovation and industry precinct.

Ballina Shire Council’s manager Airport and Commercial Services Paul Tsikleas said the Council was quite ‘visionary’ in making such a significant investment and praised councillors for backing the project, which is regional in scope as many visitors to Byron prefer to fly in through Ballina, for example, instead of the privatised Gold Coast airport.

The council said the expanded terminal and improved facilities, following the 2016 runway upgrades, would provide the opportunity for increased flights and hence visitor numbers to Ballina as well as the Far North Coast, assisting local business growth and generating more jobs.

Mr Tsikleas said passenger numbers had increased from 260,000 pa to 530,000 in the past six years, with Cr Wright saying ‘tourism is worth more than $300m to the [Ballina] shire’ from ‘more than one million visitors in the last 12 months’, with ‘many of them coming through the airport’.

Mr Franklin said he greatly enjoyed working with Ballina Council and particularly acknowledged Mr Tsikleas’ management of the airport, saying  ‘if other regional councils could have someone like you oversighting their projects they would be incredibly fortunate’.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Hang on. Don’t we have a climate emergency? According to The Echo the Byron Bay Bypass is a disaster for the climate but in a story about expanding the local airport the climate doesn’t rate a mention.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

TEB takes one from two in cricket grand finals

Last Saturday saw grand final cricket action across all grades on the Far North Coast with Tintenbar-East Ballina (TEB) winning third grade, but losing...

Roller derby rocks the Cavanbah Centre

The local roller derby season got underway for the year with local teams hosting the Northern Rivers Revolt earlier this month at the Cavanbah...

Share flood stories at Mullum Farmers Market

To mark the anniversary of the 28 February 2022 flooding of Mullumbimby, which was followed by continued flooding throughout the town and the Northern...

Apples and pears

by Victoria Cosford These long hot golden days are lulling us into the belief that summer will go on forever – but our produce knows...