A major Mount Isa Airport terminal upgrade is underway, as flight and passenger numbers return to pre-COVID-19 levels.
The project involves an upgrade and expansion of the security screening area, which will deliver other improvements for the terminal, including more space in the departures area and improved passenger flow.
The works are proceeding thanks to a Federal Government Regional Airports Screening Infrastructure grant of $2.46 million.
Queensland Airports Limited Regional Ports General Manager Brendan Cook said the works and associated improvements came after the airport hit 100 per cent of pre-COVID-19 capacity in March, and then exceeded pre-pandemic numbers in April.
"It is the perfect time to be moving ahead with the project, which is the largest undertaken at Mount Isa Airport since the car park was delivered in 2017," he said.
"The most significant improvement for passengers is that they will pass through security screening after checking in and enter a larger departure lounge, rather than dwelling in the retail area before transiting through screening when boarding is called.
"As well as accommodating the Federal Government's enhanced security screening requirements, we expect these works will improve the customer experience and make boarding more efficient."
The project will see the introduction of body scanners - the latest airport security screening technology. Although even when this equipment is in place, passengers will still have to remove laptops or tablets from bags when going through security screening.
Queensland company Woollam Constructions has been appointed to design and build the new screening point, which will be operational in July.
Mr Cook said other improvements would be made to the terminal following the screening upgrade.
"We will be delivering a new-look café, new carpet, paint and a refresh of the landside bathrooms," he said.
"While impacts to passengers will be minimised, we appreciate everyone's patience while these works are completed."
About 17,800 passengers travelled through Mount Isa Airport in April - 14 per cent more than in the same month last year, and 4 per cent higher than April 2019 - pre-COVID-19.
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