A Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan of up to $50 million will drive the upgrade of Townsville Airport.
This is the NAIF Board’s second Investment Decision in Queensland and brings the total value across Investment Decisions and Conditional approvals made by NAIF to benefit the State to $623 million.
NAIF’s loan to Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) contributes to QAL’s $80 million Project Alive. That project includes substantial refurbishment to the terminal, more aircraft parking, better road access and an upgrade to core infrastructure. Project Alive will see the capacity of the departure lounge doubled, new boarding gates, expanded security areas and the installation of self-check in and bag drop facilities.
NAIF Chief Executive Laurie Walker said: “It’s great to announce the NAIF’s Investment Decision for infrastructure expansion and upgrades at Townsville Airport. The airport is embarking on an important and exciting development program to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the growth of air travel driven by regional population growth and tourism.”
“Townsville Airport is a critical gateway to Townsville and Northern Queensland and this investment will support the efficiency of the airport into the future,” she said.
QAL CEO Chris Mills said: “NAIF’s loan will allow the Townsville Airport terminal redevelopment to move ahead, addressing current capacity issues during peak times and providing for the expected growth in passenger numbers. This will see a more modern, welcoming and user friendly airport for Townsville and North Queensland.”
Independent analysis estimates that the infrastructure funded by the NAIF loan will generate around $94 million in economic benefits for the region over the next 30 years through additional visitor spend and benefits to passengers.
The project is expected to create 207 additional full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 50 full time equivalent operational jobs after the project is finished. Project planning looks set to commence this year.
All NAIF supported projects must have an Indigenous Engagement Strategy (IES) delivering participation, procurement and employment outcomes. Townsville Airport has committed to a 3% target for Indigenous procurement and employment associated with Project Alive, regular engagement with Traditional Owners and a suite of other proactive strategies.
Ms Walker said: “NAIF’s latest investment is an example of solid support for big-ticket infrastructure across northern Australia. Our commitments across the ten Investment Decisions made to date and three current conditional approvals now stands at ~$1.3 billion, with the capital value of ~$2.8 billion for those thirteen projects. This highlights the enormous commitment that NAIF is providing towards financing infrastructure development across northern Australia to support economic and population growth.”
Financial assistance to the project is subject to a number of conditions including the finalisation of the Queensland Government’s consideration and agreement for the approved funds to be advanced.