There was an important moment for the future of our region on Monday when the Minister for Housing and Planning, Anthony Roberts, officially opened Albury’s redeveloped airport terminal.
Our new-look airport now includes a larger arrivals terminal, complete with a second baggage carousel, new office space and of course, the revamped Uiver Café and Bar – perfect for between-flights coffees or snacks.
The story of the Uiver’s dramatic 1934 landing on a wet and wild night at the racecourse is told in a vibrant mural that stretches along a wall of the café, helping to ensure one of the most famous moments in Australian aviation history lives on for future generations to enjoy.
Of course, our air services have come a long way since 1934 when the town of Albury could only dream of having an airstrip and had to make do with a soggy racecourse and the headlights of cars to illuminate a make-shift landing strip for the Uiver.
In fact, our first commercial flights did not begin until 1963 when the airport opened at its current site, providing at last a regular aerial gateway from Albury-Wodonga to the world.
Old film of the airport’s opening day more than 50 years ago played in the terminal as Mr Roberts performed the official opening of the extensions.
The black and white footage showing Albury’s entry into the world of commercial aviation made a pleasing contrast to the new terminal, which we believe has delivered to our community one of the best airports in regional Australia.
Indeed, as the Minister said, the terminal redevelopment is more than a new-look airport for a growing community. It was, he said, a ‘statement of intent’ by AlburyCity and surrounding communities that our area is ready to leap ahead in business and leisure travel.
The airport is not Albury’s alone. In fact, it’s a service that will deliver benefits to thousands of people from right across southern NSW and North East Victoria, and beyond.
With tourism playgrounds such as the ski fields and world-class wineries at our doorstep, our expanded airport is ready to welcome visitors from around the world while people travelling to and from the region for business are now assured they have an airport that matches the skills and ambitions they bring to their work.
The sky is the limit for local air travellers and as a community we can all take pride in the delivery of air facilities that will serve local needs for generations to come.
We owe special gratitude to the NSW Government for its funding support that made this project a reality, but credit should also go to our Councillors and staff as well as the flying public who’ve embraced the growing airport as their own. Thank you to each and every one – and happy flying!