Hobart International Airport in Australia has announced plans to modernise its departures lounge with an investment of A$4.5m ($3.23m) to improve the passenger experience.

The refurbishment project is expected to commence by September, with completion scheduled for mid-December this year.

Upon completion, the modernised departures lounge will be able to accommodate an increased number of passengers.

Following renovation, the lounge will feature approximately 170 additional seats along with new food and beverage options, a modernised bar and cafe and renovated amenities in the main departures area.

“At the heart of the design is our absolute desire and focus to create a sense of place, something that is inherently Tasmanian.”

Hobart Airport CEO Sarah Renner said: “We appreciate the departures hall is in need of a refresh.

“Whilst planning is continuing for the longer-term redevelopment of our terminal, we will be completing our enhanced departures project prior to Christmas in order to deliver an improved customer experience over the peak season.

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“At the heart of the design is our absolute desire and focus to create a sense of place, something that is inherently Tasmanian and something that our community can be proud of.”

The airport will remain fully operational during the renovation work. Some specific areas of the departures lounge, however, will be closed for a short period.

Recently, Hobart Airport had its busiest year ever, with over 2.6 million passengers travelling through the airport in the last year.

Renner further added that Hobart Airport continues to plan for a terminal expansion into the future. This plan will be taken up following extensive public consultation, airline negotiation and Federal Government approval.

The consultation process alone will take between six and 12 months.