The impressive new terminal building at Kangaroo Island Airport is taking shape.
The state-of-the-art, high-tech building will not only be the first thing that greets inbound passengers, it’s also being touted as a facility for all Islanders to use for functions and events.
The Islander was given a tour of the building this week by Kangaroo Island Council CEO Andrew Boardman.
The building is being fitted out with the final touches and it is hoped it will become operational in the week of Monday, May 14 when passengers will be moved over from the old terminal building.
There will be a grand opening with ribbon cutting ceremony and dignitaries sometime in June.
The new terminal component makes up about $8 million of the $18 million airport upgrade project, funded jointly by the State and Federal governments.
The $3.2 million cost over runs we have reported on pertain specifically to the air side or runway component and Mr Boardman said the terminal building project, primarily completed by Mossop Construction + Interiors, had come in under budget and on time.
“It needed to be IATA Class C compliant, which meant it had to be of a certain international standard,” he said. “But we also wanted to have something unique to the Island and something with a wow-factor that greeted people flying in for the first time.”
Mr Boardman explained the decision was made to keep the existing terminal building and it include it in the new layout, as it was in good shape and would add further cost savings.
It will house Departure Gates 3 and 4, used for the smaller flights to Adelaide that will not require passenger screening.
Departure Gates 1 and 2 in the new terminal building have been designed for the larger, interstate flights, where passenger security screening is required for flights of over 50 passengers and 20 tonnes.
There will be carry-on luggage X-ray screening and passenger metal detection area, ahead of passengers going into the secure area of the departure lounge.
Significant cost savings had been realised by securing some of this security equipment from the Esperance airport in WA that had been downgraded, and this included large checked-bag X-ray machine that cost the project $160,000 instead of $600,000 new.
Similarly, 70 per cent of the luggage carousel system had come from the old international terminal building at the Adelaide airport.
The airport has all the high-tech, state-of-the-art of equipment you would expect at a modern international airport, including digital screens listing flight departures and arrivals, USB charging stations throughout and efficient, energy saving lighting, heating and cooling systems.
The airport also has an open feel with lots of windows to the outside, a fireplace and an open deck.
“I wanted the airport to have an open feel and we have big windows and the deck so that people arriving can easily see the landscape we have on the Island,” Mr Boardman said.
There will be tourism promotional displays, including a touch-screen display, and KI branding throughout. Southern Ocean Lodge even has its own closed-off lounge.
The building will be filled with local artwork and while the council’s parks and gardens crew will be looking after the landscape featuring all native plants and even a mini sculpture garden.
The airport cafe included a fully, functional commercial kitchen, and Mr Boardman said the idea was that contract to operate the cafe was going through the KI Food and Wine Association, who could then secure local chefs and eateries to make use of the facilities.
The airport building will be able to be used a conference and event centre outside of flight times in the evenings, with the cafe, interior and seating areas an extra attraction for the Island, he said.
The Islander plans on bringing you a series of follow-up articles on the new terminal building in the lead-up to its official opening, looking at the its high-tech features, artwork and tourism promotions contained within and finally its use as a conference and dining facility.