International Civil Aviation Day shines light on Newcastle Airport role: OPINION

Each year, on December 7, our global community celebrates International Civil Aviation Day. Established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), it serves as a reminder of the importance international civil aviation plays in modern society.

Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock.

Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock.

When was the last time you jumped on a plane without a second thought? Air travel, be it domestic or international, is now the norm. It’s not something that’s only for the wealthy or for business people. It’s part of our every day, and for everyone. It connects us with our family, business, and importantly, opportunity.

At Newcastle Airport, our vision is to be the airport the region deserves. We take our roles as the gateway to the region, and a key driver of economic and community growth, seriously.  

Connecting our community to eight domestic destinations, and international hubbing options through Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne, we offer Hunter residents a chance to go smarter when travelling.

Over the last 12 months, more than 1.2 million passengers have made Newcastle Airport their point A. Strong passenger support, sits behind 24 months of continuous growth, and record-breaking passenger movements at the Airport. You helped give us our biggest month ever in October with close to 116,000 passengers, up 1.8% on the same time last year. Supercars in November helped to realise our biggest ever single day, and we welcomed an additional 26 flights from Virgin Australia.

We continue to work to provide increased connectivity for the region. This drives benefit beyond the visitor economy.

Newcastle Airport contributes over $1.1 billion in economic impact for the region, and supports more than $300 million directly into the visitor economy, along with 3300 jobs.

In synergy with regional strategies such as the NSW Government’s 2036 Hunter Regional Plan, Newcastle Airport has a significant part to play in expanding the capacity of global gateways to support further population growth, diversity of communities and support the key areas of health and education as national centres of excellence. Additionally, with improved connectivity, comes new opportunities in value added exports thought air freight.

We are a key state infrastructure asset that can drive broad benefit for NSW, provide an additional international access point to the state well before the Western Sydney Airport is operational, and form part of a cohesive network of international gateways once it is completed.

We are ready. In August this year, we opened our international area including customs, immigration and quarantine facilities. With the support of the region, we will continue to focus on attracting our first international carrier. It’s now a question of when, not if.

The Hunter is Australia’s largest regional economy. Newcastle Airport intends to provide the best possible civil aviation air services for locals and visitors alike to be the airport the region deserves.

Aviation is, after all, your connection to opportunity.