Newcastle Airport is a step closer to running international flights as construction begins on an $850,000 upgrade.
The airport won a $900,000 funding deal through the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund to help add customs and other offices for an international hub.
Construction began on May 1 to add security, passport and border force facilities.
NSW Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said the upgrade’s wider impact could add $147 million to the Hunter’s economic output.
“Newcastle Airport is recognised as one of the fastest growing airports in NSW and making it ready for international flights is the next smart step,” Mr Constance said.
Newcastle Airport chief executive Dr Peter Cock said the finished upgrade would put Newcastle “one step closer to being ready for international flights.”
A record 1.2 million passengers passed through Newcastle Airport in 2016, up 5.5 per cent on the year before.
Construction is due for completion later this year.
Media reports on May 1 indicated that international flights to New Zealand, Bali and Fiji could begin as early as November.