South Australia’s Adelaide Airport has announced the opening of its new international departures hall and northern retail concourse.

The opening of the new facilities is part of the latest stage of the airport’s terminal expansion project. Construction work was assigned to BESIX Watpac.

Departing international travellers will now go through the emigration processing and security screening on Level 1, after which they will move back up to Level 2 to access the departure gates.

A direct connection between the main security checkpoint and the northern retail precinct and international departures has been provided by the northern retail concourse.

Moreover, several retail stores and dining outlets will also reopen for passengers.

Adelaide Airport managing director Mark Young said: “The opening of the new international departures hall is another important milestone and keeps us on track for completion in late 2021.

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“It has been an incredibly difficult year for the aviation sector, but the silver lining has been that closing the northern end of the terminal due to Covid-19 made it a bit easier for the builder to access the site and continue construction without creating disruptions for passengers.

“The opening of international departures and the northern concourse has coincided with us reopening gates and retail stores at the northern end of the terminal for the first time in nine months.

“This week we have welcomed back Penfolds Wine Bar & Kitchen, Precinct Kitchen and Soul Origin, which were all forced to close within a couple of weeks of opening in late February due to Covid-19.”

He also stated that the next stages of the expansion project will cover the new international arrivals area, a common-user premium international lounge, more retail space and new accommodation for the Vickers Vimy.

As part of the expansion project, several international upgrades will be carried out, including a second, longer baggage belt for arrivals, more space for emigration and immigration processing, expanded security screening, and more.

While other international gates will continue to use Adelaide Airport’s swing gate system, Gate 18 will become a permanent international gate.