Hobart airport is preparing for an influx of arrivals as Tasmania reopens to the country on December 15.
Hobart Airport is currently averaging about 10 inbound flights a day. From the 15th it is expected to have an average of between 40 and 45 flights a day.
Aiport retailer, Coal River Farm co-owner Daniel Leesong is excited about the 15th.
“We’re very excited,”
“It’s obviously a very different environment when there’s one or two flights coming in a day as opposed to 20,000 people going through the airport a day. We’re cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be a good season.” he said.
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from the mercury 7.12.21
HOBART Airport is bracing for a rush of visitors to surge through its arrivals gate.
On December 15, Tasmania will lower the drawbridge to all mainland jurisdictions.
Travellers over the age of 12 years and 2 months entering the state will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have an approved medical exemption.
Extra biosecurity staff will be deployed at Tasmanian airports to remind people of the requirements.
Hobart Airport is currently averaging about 10 inbound flights a day, but CEO Norris Carter said this would increase significantly come the 15th, with an average of between 40 and 45 flights a day anticipated.
“Hobart Airport is all about connecting communities and the 15th will be a very special date,” he said.
“Behind every flight there are hundreds of stories about friends and family reconnecting, sometimes for the first time in a very long time.
“It’s also really important to our business community because a strong Hobart Airport is key to building Tasmania’s future especially with the boost to visitor numbers and the increase in freight capacity from the 15th.”
The departure counters will be a lot busier once borders reopen on December 15. Picture Nikki Davis-Jones
Until January 12, subject to public health advice, travellers over the age of 5 arriving in Tasmania from a designated high-risk area or overseas will need to return a negative Covid test.
They will also need to have completed a Tas e-Travel pass, available online from December 12.
TT-Line CEO Bernard Dwyer said that in the hours immediately after Premier Peter Gutwein announced the state’s reopening date in October, the government business processed about $1m worth of bookings for the Spirit of Tasmania ferries.
CEO of TT Line Bernard Dwyer. Picture: Richard Jupe
He said most bookings were coming from the “traditional markets” of Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
“Bookings have remained solid post-December 15 through to the end of January,” Mr Dwyer said.
“To meet demand for Tasmanians wishing to come home and for friends and relatives eager to travel to Tasmania for the Christmas period, we have scheduled an additional 11 day sailings between 15 and 30 December.
“The first of these double sailings will be on 15 December, departing Melbourne and Devonport at 8.30am and 9.10pm respectively.
“An additional 17 day sailings have been scheduled for January 2022, the first on 2 January.”
People travelling on the Spirits will have a QR code scanned and will be screened before boarding the ferry, with additional checks to be undertaken upon their arrival in Tasmania.
Airport retailer buzzing ahead of reopening
AT the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Coal River Farm opened a new store at Hobart Airport.
Twelve months later, co-owner Daniel Leesong is keenly anticipating the reopening of Tasmania’s borders, hoping the popular cheese and chocolate business can capitalise on the influx of additional travellers coming through the gates.
“We’re very excited,” he said.
“(The reopening) gets us potentially back to providing the services and the products that we want to showcase to the rest of Australia and the world.
“It’s obviously a very different environment when there’s one or two flights coming in a day as opposed to 20,000 people going through the airport a day. We’re cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be a good season.”
Melanie Leesong co-owner and general manager of Coal River Farm at their airport retail store. Picture Nikki Davis-Jones
Hobart taxi drivers are also looking forward to next Wednesday, given that about 35-40 per cent of their fares have traditionally come from airport pick-ups and drop-offs.
Tasmanian Taxi Council secretary Tony Dilger said the pandemic had proven “really difficult” for drivers.
“Initially, when Covid hit two years ago, we were down 60 odd per cent (on fares) from day one,” he said.
“So how do you keep going with that?”
Mr Dilger said greater numbers of people walking out the doors of Hobart Airport would be a welcome sight for taxi drivers.