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Whitsunday Airport Aquarium

By Ray White Whitsunday

Stage 1 of the Whitsunday Coast Airport terminal expansion project was recently completed in mid 2019 by Paynters. With record passenger numbers and six years of positive growth being experienced at the Whitsunday Coast Airport, the terminal expansion project is a vital step towards realising the long-term vision of the airport.

There are a total of five stages of the rolling masterplan for development of the airport complex for the long term future. Each of the five stages complements the previous so nothing is being built and then removed.

Key features of the terminal expansion included:

  • Additional toilets in baggage claim area and departure lounge
  • Doubling the size of the departure lounge to comfortably accommodate two simultaneous flights
  • Expanded security screening area
  • Additional food and beverage seating areas
  • More than double the size baggage claim and arrivals area
  • A second baggage carousel
  • Expansion of the baggage make up area to allow for efficient loading of departing aircraft
  • Relocation of secure departure lounge exit directly into baggage claim area to reduce congestion
  • Relocated and expanded airport management offices, including an external emergency operations room
  • New designed interiors including new furniture, signage, carpet, tiles, wall paint and finishes
  • Augmented Reality (AR) screen in the baggage claim area to entertain and educate visitors, with two different AR experiences on offer, Great Barrier Reef and Australian Native Animals.
  • A 30,000 litre aquarium, including a moulded coral ‘Heart Reef’ and  hundreds of Great Barrier Reef fish to enhance the visitor experience as they arrive and depart the Whitsunday Coast Airport.

Whitsunday Regional Council would like to thank the Queensland State Government for funding the $15 million terminal expansion project. Without their valuable support, this project would not have been possible.

Indigenous Art Competition

The winner of the Indigenous Art Competition at the Whitsunday Coast Airport terminal was local artist Nicky Bidju-Pryor, whose family are custodians of the land where the airport is located.

Nicky painted a bright, colourful mural to welcome all visitors on the outside wall of the terminal near the entry. The design is called ‘Gubulla Munda Dreaming’ and features local marine life, the beach and the Gubulla Munda (Giant Carpet Snake) who is the traditional protective spirit for the Juru Clan of the Birru Gubba Nation.

The artwork is a distinguishing feature at the entrance to the building, which welcomes thousands of international and domestic tourists who visit the Whitsunday Islands and the mainland every year.

Source: Whitsunday Regional Council.
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