Newcastle Airport Code E Runway

Upgrading the Airport’s runway and terminals to accommodate long-range, wide bodied aircraft, removing a key cap on regional NSW’s access to international trade and tourism. A smart solution that aligns upgrades with Defence’s scheduled runway resurfacing, generating significant savings for taxpayers while unlocking billions of dollars in economic benefits and new jobs.

The works include an upgrade to the runway, owned by Defence, and upgrades to Newcastle Airport’s terminals and passenger processing facilities. The Airport services a catchment of over one million people with established industrial and agriculture production capabilities. 1.27 million international passengers move through the catchment each year, demonstrating the Hunter’s untapped tourism potential. With 80% of Australia’s air freight travelling in the hold of passenger aircraft, the Airport’s strong passenger demand makes regional air freight more viable and likely.

  • $119 million project value, including $65 million for the Code E runway upgrade and $54 million for airport terminal expansion
  • Construction jobs from early 2021, generating 4,410 new full-time jobs on completion in 2022
  • BCR >2.0 and $12.7 billion in economic benefits to regional Australia including; $6.2 billion in extra income from the visitor economy, and; $6.5 billion in additional freight activity over the life of the runway (20 years)

“As Australia’s largest regional economy, the Hunter will help lead the nation’s economic recovery. An upgraded airport will play a key role – creating over 4,000 jobs and unlocking billions of dollars in economic potential. With the challenge of a daunting economic recovery post COVID-19 ahead of us, this is a once in a generation opportunity that we are urging governments to seize.”

Dr Peter Cock,

CEO, Newcastle Airport


This project provides stimulus and jobs in sectors significantly impacted by COVID-19 – aviation, visitor economy and construction. Aligning the runway upgrade with Defence maintenance will save taxpayers money. If the runway upgrades are not completed as part of Defence’s maintenance works, Defence are unlikely to consider this project until their next scheduled resurfacing in 2040. The immediate and longer term benefits of this project are needed now, not in a couple of decades.

Contact details

Newcastle Airport

Stephen Crowe

Executive Manager Corporate Affairs

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