CONSTRUCTION is progressing on a new international terminal at Newcastle Airport.

The federal government committed $55 million for the terminal expansion project and border facilities in April 2022. Construction began in July last year.

So far, construction teams have demolished the old terminal, poured a new concrete slab and installed columns supporting the new area for border agencies.

Work is underway on the underground bagging handling tunnels and an electrical substation that would allow solar panels to be connected later in the year.

Newcastle Airport said the new terminal would support the Hunter region’s imports and exports by accommodating larger aircraft with bigger freight loads.

The airport has forecast that over the next 20 years the upgrade could generate $6.5 billion in additional business activity through increased freight access.

Federal minister for infrastructure and transport Catherine King said expanding the airfield and terminal would bring around $12.7 billion in economic activity over that same period.

Ms King visited the airport on Wednesday this week and said she was delighted to see the progress.

“This upgrade will unlock greater opportunities for local tourism while better connecting residents to the world,” she said.

Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock said he was thankful the federal government supported the vision for the airport.

“The economic uplift brought about by our new international airport will help future proof the economy of the Hunter,” he said.

“It will support industry, enable trade, help create jobs well beyond the visitor economy and will be a vibrant part of our region, helping in the Hunter transition.”

And federal member for Paterson Meryl Swanson said she was looking forward to seeing the completed international terminal.

“Aviation is a catalyst to our local economy’s growth and this government is supporting our region through major airport projects,” she said.

Cox Architects designed the new terminal to “reflect the natural beauty” of the Hunter region.

The international terminal is expected to be completed in 2025.