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Whitsunday Coast Airport continues to be one of the fastest growing regional airports in Australia with a new annual passenger number record.
The airport, which is about to undergo a $40 million terminal and runway upgrade, hit a new high of 351,149 passengers for the 2016/17 financial year.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said this was the sixth consecutive year of positive growth in passenger numbers at Whitsunday Coast Airport.
“This equals our previous record run set from 1990-95, but back then we were only doing 97,000 passengers,” he said.
“This year we have had 351,149 passengers through the terminal and have our sights firmly set on the magic 500,000 figure in the next few years.
“These record numbers are even more impressive when you consider the challenging few months our community endured in the wake of the impacts of Cyclone Debbie.”
Mayor Willcox praised the team at WCA for their outstanding efforts which included a lot of collaborative work done in partnership with all stakeholders.
“I am grateful for the support of our airline partners Tigerair, Jetstar and Virgin who have shown confidence in the ability of our region to bounce back quickly.
“Our region’s peak tourism body Tourism Whitsundays also deserve praise for taking the lead to reinvigorate our region as a destination as quickly as possible.
“I have no doubt the confidence from our airline partners that our region will bounce back quickly will pay dividends and our passenger numbers will continue to grow,” he said.
Tourism Whitsunday CEO Craig Turner said the record passenger numbers were great news for his stakeholders and a positive sign that the region is growing as a premium tourism destination.
“Everyone at Whitsunday Regional Council, and especially the airport team, should be congratulated on this fantastic result,” he said.
“The fact that a record number of people have passed through Whitsunday Coast Airport in the last financial year is a clear demonstration that what we are doing as an industry is working.
“It is also a positive sign for our tourism operators and other related stakeholders that their resilience during recent challenging times is paying dividends,” Mr Turner said.