International flights could take off as Hobart Airport runway extended

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An extra 500 metres of runway could transform Hobart Airport into Hobart International Airport and allow flights between the Asia-Pacific region and Tasmania.

The federal government has approved a 500-metre extension to the runway at Hobart Airport, in a move which could electrify Tasmania’s already buoyant tourist economy.

Tasmania already enjoys an excellent reputation with tourists, with its accent on pristine natural beauty, gourmet produce, world-class wines and old-fashioned charm alongside the expanding global reputation of Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art.

Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) welcomed the runway extension and said tourism had been “a standout performer for the state’s economy.”

According to TTF’s most recent research, international visitors to Tasmania are increasing – up an impressive 20 per cent to 212,000. The money they spend is not to be sniffed at either, with $351 million lavished in the apple isle, up a whopping 34 per cent and the strongest performer of all the States and Territories.

“The approval of the extension of Hobart Airport’s runway is fantastic news that will only help to boost the Tasmanian visitor economy even more,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“TTF has been a vocal advocate of the need to upgrade visitor infrastructure in Tasmania and provide better access for international visitors.

“How exciting that we are getting so close to the point of finally being able to light up ‘international’ in Hobart International Airport.”

Ms Osmond praised Federal Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester and Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck for sealing the deal and said it had “the potential to turbocharge the Tasmanian visitor economy and open new opportunities.”

“Tassie is becoming an international visitor magnet, so it makes sense for the government to get moving on providing the infrastructure that will finally connect Hobart with the largest international visitor markets for Australia in our broader region,” Ms Osmond said.

“Imagine what could happen if you could get on an aeroplane in China and fly direct to Tasmania – it would be an absolute boon for the apple isle. Every aeroplane that lands loaded with international visitors at Hobart Airport is more jobs and more economic opportunity for Tasmania.”

She said that direct international flights into Hobart could also generate a financial windfall to the Tasmania’s regional economies.

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