The new T4 at Tullamarine opens

This morning marks a new beginning for Tullamarine with the phased opening of the new Terminal 4 starting today.

According to a fact sheet posted on T4's dedicated website - - the terminal is "the first terminal in the Asia Pacific region to open as a complete self-service operation", referring to the self-service check-in kiosks and automated bag-drop facilities.

There has also been a departure from the norm in terms of accessing the terminals as well: check-in / bag-drop and arrivals baggage claim are all on the ground floor rather than being split between ground and upper floors as is common in the three other terminals at Tullamarine and other airports around Australia. As shown in the video below, after check-in passengers are required to head to the upper floor for the security check and departure lounges.

According to a Melbourne Airport spokesperson, the existing Tiger terminal check in and baggage claim (the infamous tin shed) areas are now being refurbished and Tiger Airways will be moved back into its original home after the refurbishment has been completed. This new work on the existing Tiger terminals will see the original facilities seamlessly connected to the new T4 building.

Jetstar and Rex will be operating from T4 in the "coming months" according to the fact sheet.

The terminal has a capacity for 10,000,000 passengers per year (or roughly one third of the passengers that currently fly in and out of Tullamarine annually at present) and over 30 retail and dining outlets will be located in the terminal when it's fully occupied. The new car parking facility that was under construction at the same time as T4 will open in coming months as well.

The check-in area of T4, image from

It's not hard to see why Tullamarine Airport has felt like a perpetual construction site for the past decade - with T2 (International) expansion and now the brand new T4 low-cost terminal - one need only look at the data available for passengers movements at the airport.

Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport passenger movements 1985-2014

In 1985 when the data series available on BITRE's website begins, there were 5.1 million domestic passengers, 1.2 million international passengers rounding up to a total of 6.3 million passengers. Interestingly international passengers at Tullamarine in 1985 represented 23% of all passengers passing through the airport.

Fast forward to 2014 and there were 23.3 million domestic passengers and 8 million international passengers totalling 31.4 million. In 2014 international passengers represented 34% of all passengers flying in and out of Tullamarine.

It took Tullamarine 12 years to move from 10 million passengers to the 20 million mark and it took nine years for Tullamarine to go from 20 million passengers to 30 million.


Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.