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Coffs Again Placed Alongside World’s Top Cities

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For the fourth year in a row Coffs Harbour has won the globally-acclaimed International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) World Festival and Event City Award.

The award means that Coffs Harbour has been ranked equally alongside cities such as Moscow, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Sydney and Philadelphia for the quality and variety of its annual events.

“Attracting visitors to the region through the events and festivals we host is a primary goal of Coffs Harbour City Council. Annually, we see many millions of dollars pumped directly into our local economy from the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to the city and region for such events,” said Daniel Heather, Council’s Section Leader Stadium and Major Events. “The city is now seen right across Australia as the go-to regional destination for major national and international events. Winning the IFEA Award for four years in succession is going to further cement our reputation globally, which means that the real winner will be the community.”

The work of Coffs Harbour’s community in encouraging the success and growth of festivals and events was a key reason why an international panel of experts selected the city for the award.

“The IFEA is pleased to recognise and highlight those cities and markets that have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE, during the award presentations in San Diego, California. “The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognised with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

Growing events is a prime focus of the Coffs Harbour Event Strategy 2020. It is one of the reasons that Council is committed to upgrading facilities such as the C.ex Coffs International Stadium and the Cultural and Civic Space.

But equally important is supporting home-grown events. To help enthusiastic locals create successful festivals and events, last year Council launched the www.coffscoastevents.com.au website which has already helped launch new events like the Blues and Berries Fair.

Among the sporting and cultural events that helped Coffs Harbour win this most recent award were:

  • Kennard’s Hire Rally Australia – WRC World Rally Championship
  • Screenwave International Film Festival
  • Harmony Festival
  • Coffs Coast Food Festivals (including Woolgoolga Curryfest, Sawtell Chillifest, Taste Woolgoolga)
  • Midnight Oil concert
  • Women’s Ashes Cricket Series
  • Coffs Harbour International Buskers and Comedy Festival

Coffs Harbour Regional Airport awarded the 2017 Large Regional Airport of the Year

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Coffs Harbour Regional Airport was awarded the 2017 Large Regional Airport of the Year at the National Airport Industry Awards, hosted by the Australian Airports Association (AAA) in November.

The awards recognise innovation and excellence across a range of categories.

“This year’s award winners include Australian airport firsts, significant investments in capacity and innovative new approaches to meeting customers changing needs” said AAA chief executive officer Caroline Wilkie.

The awards highlight the airport industry’s commitment to investing in the aviation sector to drive growth and build the tourism industry.

“All of our winners reflect the passion and dedication of airport staff to lead their industry and create great experiences for the travelling public”.

In accepting the award, airport manager Dennis Martin acknowledged his team at the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport as well as airport tenants and major contractors, Kamen Engineering, Boral Asphalt and FM Glenn Constructions for their support and co-operation during recent upgrade works.

Since FY 2009/10, passenger numbers at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport increased by over 100,000 to 412,824 as at 30th June 2017. Over the past 12 months alone the increase over the previous year was a significant 35,519 passengers. With current predictions this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. It became imperative that improvements and expansion of airport infrastructure be undertaken to future proof the business for the next ten years.

During FY 2016/2017 a range of infrastructure and systems redevelopments were completed. These included;

Terminal

  • Extending the Departure and Arrivals Halls creating an additional 25 per cent floor area.
  • Two additional entry doors were installed to improve customer access to the Departure Hall.
  • The check-in counter was lengthened and two additional check-in stations added.
  • The floors in four high traffic areas; check-in, security, café and arrivals were completely retiled.
  • Departure lounges were reconfigured, recarpeted and upgraded to new more comfortable seating.
  • The toilets in the Arrivals Hall were expanded and refurbished.
  • The QantasLink Regional Lounge was repositioned, refurbished and expanded by 30 per cent.
  • An additional airline member’s lounge was built to cater for predicted passenger and airline growth. The lounge is currently available for business meetings/presentations.
  • Three new offices were added to improve facilities and functionality for airline personnel and staff of airport tenants.
  • A horticultural architect-designed garden adjacent to the Departure Hall and QantasLink Regional Lounge was created to enhance the ambience and appeal of the airport.

Airside

  • The aircraft parking apron was extended increasing capacity from 3 to 5 jet parking bays.
  • The 5 bays can now accommodate 5 free-moving narrow bodied jets parked simultaneously.
  • Two new undercover arrivals entry walkways were constructed to improve customer comfort and more efficient transition from airside to inside the terminal.
  • A second baggage carousel installed to improve customer service especially during peak hours.
  • Apron equipment storage bay was expanded to cater for additional aircraft service plant and improved safety of staff and aircraft during access and egress.

Administration

  • A new plant and systems control building was constructed.
  • A purpose built systems control switchboard was installed and commissioned providing management with improved data and information to better manage energy use, systems security and airport operating efficiency.
  • A new hi-tech electricity generator was installed and commissioned. In the event of a mains electricity supply failure, this new generator combined with the switch board system enables all airport operations and systems to function seamlessly 24/7.
  • Administration office and corporate charter lounge expanded and toilets refurbished.
  • New security fencing was installed airside of the Administration Offices.

Car Parking

  • In addition to the current ticketing and payment system, new state-of-the-art credit card reading technology was installed at outdoor and undercover parking stations entry and exit gates. This system facilitates quicker access and egress, less use of paper ticketing consumables and on-line record keeping of expenditure.
  • To enhance security, two new CCTV cameras were installed in the outdoor parking area.
  • These innovations deliver improved customer service and operational management of the car parks.

Coffs Harbour Regional Airport has been recognised as the best regional airport in Australia and now has the infrastructure and facilities in place to accommodate future growth without any further major upgrade requirements for several years.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro MP officially opens Airport upgrade works

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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro MP visited Coffs Harbour Regional Airport on the 21st of August 2017 to mark the completion of $6.5m worth of upgrades made possible through the State Government’s Restart NSW Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF).

The $5.1m RTIF grant, plus $1.4m from Council, financed the enlargement of the aircraft parking apron and associated taxiways to accommodate up to five, narrow-body jet aircraft. In addition, more check-in counters, extra airline offices and staff facilities and new airline lounges have been completed in the enlarged Departures area of the terminal building. In the Arrivals section, an extra baggage carousel and additional amenities have been installed.

“Over the last five years, Council has invested more than $10m into improving infrastructure and facilities at the airport – including a $7.5m upgrade of the main runway,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight, who welcomed the Deputy Premier to the airport. “Last year, the airport passed the 400,000 passenger mark – an all-time record – and will reach 420,000 by the end of this financial year. Now that these upgrade works have been completed, the airport will be able to process over 1,000 passengers per hour during the busiest times.

 “With the airport rapidly heading towards half a million passengers per annum, and with the support of the State Government, Coffs Harbour is fast becoming one of the best regional airports in Australia.”

Winners take off to the State of Origin

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Imagine winning gold tickets, accommodation and flights to the first State of Origin just by booking flights to Brisbane with Fly Corporate?

Prizewinner Graziella Garrett from Bellingen could not believe her luck when she received the phone call from Fly Corporate stating she had won the prize.

“I was shocked and excited to receive the news that we won and will be going to the State of Origin,” Ms Garrett said.

“Our family are huge footy fans and for my son, Matthew, to experience the excitement from the crowd at his first ever live match will be amazing,” she said.

Airport Manager Dennis Martin said Fly Corporate’s services had opened up an easy link to Brisbane either as a destination or as a gateway for international travel.

“The schedules are ideal for business or leisure travellers, offering a convenient day return service or affordable weekend getaway,” Mr Martin said.

“We are pleased the Coffs community is getting behind the service and choosing to fly to Brisbane rather than drive,” he said.

Ms Garrett agreed that the flights to Brisbane made a quick weekend away possible rather than battling the roadworks and traffic.

“We travel to Brisbane regularly with the kids to visit family and to have a flight that is affordable and only takes one hour is fantastic,” she said.

Ready for the game next Wednesday night, 10 year old Matthew excitedly comments “I just hope the blue’s win.”

Fly Corporate operates direct flights to Brisbane daily on Mondays to Fridays, as well as a weekend getaway service that departs Friday evenings and returns on Sundays.  To book visit flycorporate.com.au