The first flights have been processed at the new terminal building at Kangaroo Island Airport.
Christine Barrett from Airport Ground Services checked in the first passenger for Rex Airlines on its evening flight on Thursday, May 17.
The Rex Saab 340 aircraft then offloaded its inbound Adelaide passengers who walked off the tarmac into the new terminal building
Among the passengers on the first Rex flight was State Member for Mawson, Leon Bignell who was coming over to the Kangaroo Island to meet with constituents.
Mr Bignell told The Islander that he though the new terminal was magnificent and that as someone who had worked hard to secure the $9 million in State Funding for the airport, it was great to see the project come to fruition.
“Delighted to be on the first flight to use the new Kangaroo Island terminal. A $9 million Labor state Govt investment plus $9 million from the Feds so the infrastructure matches the world-class tourism and food and drink experiences on KI.” Mr Bignell posted on Facebook. “It even has a carousel for the bags!”
QantasLink meanwhile hopes to have its first flights coming and going from the new terminal building on Wednesday, May 23.
Technicians were installing the airlines’ IT equipment on Monday and Tuesday.
Rex Airlines meanwhile has been critical of expenditure on new airports around Australia, driving up its costs. Kangaroo Island Airport expansion was mentioned specifically.
“Rex has seen its operating costs increase significantly, particularly with the costs imposed by Local Government for the essential use of regional airports,” A Rex spokesperson said.
“The most significant factor contributing to the escalating airport charges has come about by spending on regional airports to construct excessive facilities.
“Rex calls on Federal and State Governments to be discerning in funding for regional airport refurbishments.”
The spokesperson said Rex had no problems supporting critical infrastructural investments like resurfacing of runways, improved lighting and other airside improvements.
“However, excessive money spent on aesthetics, especially when the passenger numbers do not support such expenditure, will only end up driving up significantly the ticket cost which in turn will result in fewer passengers travelling.”