A HOTEL, air museum and highway service centre could all be built at the airport over the next decade.
Armidale Regional Council’s master plan for the area also includes an “airpark”, an American concept where people can live in a gated community which combines a road and taxiway for its residents.
The ambitious plan aims to capitalise on Armidale Regional Airport’s access to the New England Highway and its extensive, 262 hectare site.
Council sees the area as a growing hub for general aviation, tourism and economic development.
Privatising some of the land owned by Council would help finance the plans, according to the master plan.
But aviation-related lots would be kept by Council to ensure the area was a true “aviation precinct”.
A terminal upgrade could see check-in facilities for three airlines, with check-in kiosks similar to those in major airports.
The terminal was built to initially handle 35,000 passenger movements, however, in the past 10 years that has grown to more than 120,000 passenger numbers annually.
Adding to the optimism is interest from Regional Express to introduce return flights to Brisbane. The hotel would capitalise on this growth.
“The complex would likely include accommodation, restaurant and bar, pool, business and conference facilities and on-site parking,” the report’s authors said.
The planned air museum would be a natural extension of historic military aircraft already owned and operated by Fleet Warbirds.
Also, a service centre would be part of the 2.2 hectare site earmarked for the veteran and vintage car museum and include a service station, express market, fast food outlets, toilets and parking for cars, buses and caravans.
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