It has been known and talked about in closed circles for some months, but Australia Pacific Airports Corporation Limited have finally unveiled their intention to comprehensively overhaul Melbourne Airport's International T2 Terminal. On Monday evening before 700 individuals representing business, government and the wider community, APAC Limited offered a sneak peek into the future redevelopment of the International Terminal as part of a sustained investment campaign.
Within the 2013/2014 financial year Melbourne Airport's capital expenditure weighed in at $420 million with Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff stating during the evening "next year alone we expect to invest around $700 million as part of sustained ten year investment period.”
Contained within the Melbourne Airport annual stakeholder report are multiple concept images depicting total redevelopment of the previously untouched 1970's edifice. The intended redevelopment follows recent 'waves' of regeneration and expansion to Terminal 2, which currently sees works in play to enlarge the terminal's arrivals area.
As for the intended development, Urban Melbourne understands it to be valued in the billions with the visitor/user experience at the crux of the new space. Under the working title of Market Place, a cavernous new terminal space offering a variety of services and retail outlets will stretch over the three existing terminal frontages, with Terminal 2 at its heart.
Departure Drive currently used by vehicles disembarking passengers will be banished, with all arriving transport modes relocated to the multi-level car park forecourt. In doing so it is expected the manic traffic flows to the terminal departure areas will be eliminated in favour of an enhanced user experience once the redevelopment is complete.
Multiple large blue retail pods are shown over ground floor with a vast expanse of space directly behind the sheer glass facade. Elsewhere double height luxury retail outlets will frame the internal space with a multitude of airline lounges set to crown the internal area in what will be a quantum leap forward for all users of the new terminal space.
Urban Melbourne also understands that once regulatory approval is gained via the Federal Government, APAC Limited is keen to facilitate construction as soon as is practically possible.
According to statistics on BITRE, since 2007 Melbourne Airport's international growth has been consistently higher in percentage terms than that of Sydney airport with 24% of all international traffic in Australia now flying through Tullamarine.
In 2007, 20% of Australia's international traffic was moving through Melbourne Airport and this refresh of Melbourne's primary international gateway is sure to leave a better impression of our city on all those who pass through it.
In due course Urban Melbourne intends to cover the proposed International Terminal redevelopment in detail, including all interested parties perspectives on what is expected to become one of the State's flagship infrastructure projects.
With Alastair Taylor.