Since the airport was privatised in 1998 it has transformed into a vibrant employment precinct supporting both aviation and other commercial activity.
Modelling by ACIL in 2010 found that Canberra Airport drove more than seven per cent of the ACT’s economic activity, generated or enabled more than 12,000 jobs and contributed $1.34 billion per annum to gross regional product.
With this essential multi-billion dollar infrastructure capacity now in place, there is potential to launch directly into the global market place. The new 55,000m2 airport terminal allows for the development of international services such as customs, immigration and quarantine. The Government has been working with the Airport to establish direct international flights. The new Memorandum of Understanding between the ACT Government and the Airport recognises our joint efforts to realise the economic growth potential of the entire south-east region of NSW. Our aim is to increase passenger services through low cost carriers and direct international flights, in partnership with airline and freight operators to connect Canberra airport’s catchment area of nearly 900,000 people to the world.
We envisage developing an overnight air freight hub providing time-sensitive freight services. The 24 hour operation of Canberra Airport is an important opportunity for the ACT. It "will give the region a logistical advantage in the distribution of goods and produce."1 A freight hub at Canberra Airport would not only develop jobs at the Airport but would also produce a new range of industries in Canberra and the region, generating significant economic return and creating hundreds of jobs.
Aviation is a key driver of economic growth – facilitating accessibility, international trade, tourism and new business. Air travel not only connects people, it connects economies as well. The increase in airport capacity will create demand, acting as a catalyst for new commercial activity in other sectors.
By leveraging this aviation capacity, we will establish new economic linkages for trade and commerce within our region. In particular, there will be a substantial stimulus to the tourism industry, increasing employment in hospitality businesses.
1 ACT Government ACT Planning Strategy 2012