The latest news from Northern Territory Airports
February 2014

From the CEO

The first few months of the year always bring with them extremes for the Territory—in Darwin, the rain just keeps coming and we’ve already clocked up one Cyclone Warning while in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, the dry summer heat saw the mercury climbing. It was this heat that appealed to the engineers at Boeing, who decided Alice Springs Airport had the perfect conditions for testing of its new 787-9 Dreamliner. A huge effort from the Alice team meant the visit went off without a hitch, and we look forward to seeing the aircraft in the skies later in the year.
 
In Darwin, work continues on our major projects. Out on the airfield, our new aircraft parking bays are nearing completion, while in the terminal our expansion works are on track, including the new Dôme Café in the upstairs departure lounge. You can take a look behind the scenes on our website. Please enjoy the latest issue of Touchdown, and if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ian Kew, CEO Northern Territory Airports

Dreamliner feels the heat

Alice Springs Airport (ASA) had an exciting start to 2014 when it played host to a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner test aircraft from Seattle. On its first international flight to pay a visit to launch customer Air New Zealand, the aircraft stopped in Alice for a week to undergo heat testing in the warm, dry climate of the Red Centre.
 
There are three 787-9 aircraft in the test program, and Alice’s visitor, ZB002 (which operated as flight number BOE2) is the only one to be fitted with a passenger interior–so Boeing’s team of engineers were along for the ride. The team at ASA got to work straight after Christmas to prepare for the arrival of not just the Dreamliner but its 100 passengers, leasing building space, creating security passes and assisting with hire cars and hotel rooms. 

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Strong passenger growth

Darwin International and Alice Springs airports have recorded strong passenger growth for the first half of the financial year. Darwin saw its international passenger numbers rise by 17.3 per cent off the back of new services from Philippine Airlines, Indonesia AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines, while Alice Springs had 346,600 travellers pass through the airport in the six months to December 2013, an increase of 18.3 per cent on the previous year.

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Darwin International Airport 
Alice Springs Airport

Arrivals and Departures

Next month NT Airports says goodbye to Katie Cooper, who is moving on after more than three years as General Manager of Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Airports. Katie has overseen a lot of changes during her time in Central Australia, and she took us through some of the highlights.
 
TD: Which of your team’s achievements stand out the most?
KC: For starters, I think the team itself—we work well together and it’s the effort put in by this team that has gotten a lot of projects off the ground, such as the aircraft Boneyard which is a significant piece of infrastructure for the long-term. Beyond that, I’ve seen a real sense of community build across the airport over the last few years, and our team has been a real driver of that.

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Spotlight on: ASQ Surveys at DIA

Taking a look behind the scenes at the people and the jobs that make our airports tick.

Ever been asked, bleary-eyed at 2.00am, about your experience at the airport that night? Your response has been one of 1400 collected each year as part of DIA’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) surveys. ASQ is a global program that collects over 400,000 responses annually from passengers all over the world, from smaller airports such as Darwin to the major hubs that move 85 million people in a year.

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February update

Terminal expansion works remain on track, despite all of the rain that Darwin has been experiencing these last few weeks. The eastern end is progressing towards 'lock-up' stage, when its glazing will be in place and its exterior shell will be essentially finished. 

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Qantas adds Darwin flights

Qantas is adding more flights to Darwin across its network in 2014, increasing its seat capacity to the Top End by 10 per cent. From March, travellers can choose from an extra four flights a week to Brisbane, an additional two flights to Perth and one to Sydney, or a daily service to Melbourne. Visit Qantas to book.

B-52 visit

RAAF Base Darwin recently welcomed an impressive visitor - a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress arrived to take part in short term bilateral training with the RAAF. The huge aircraft weighs over 83,000 kg and has a wingspan of 56.4 metres, and was last in Darwin in 2012 as part of Exercise Pitch Black. More photos online.
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