Canberra Airport in Australia has received approval from the Australian and State Government for its 20-year master plan to increase passenger capacity.

The airport expansion is expected to generate and support many jobs and give rise to billions of dollars in economic activity.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said: “The airport and these developments are expected to indirectly support more than 37,000 jobs and generate A$6.8bn in economic activity by 2028.

“To support this, the master plan recognises Canberra Airport’s commitment to major infrastructure upgrades to cater to the expected increase in passenger numbers to more than nine million people using the airport by 2039.”

The airport authorities aim to add more international flights to different locations such as China and New Zealand, construct a new runway and increase the airport’s cargo capacity.

Canberra Airport is expected to serve three million passengers in 2020. It expects the number to increase to around nine million in the next 20 years.

Canberra Times quoted Canberra Airport Aviation head Michael Thomson as saying: “It’s always been a vision of Canberra Airport to increase access to international routes for the region, and we’ve seen the success of Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines, and we want to look beyond that.

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“We’re currently in discussion with a number of airlines, and the two markets we’re focused on are China and New Zealand.”

The plan was approved after a complete statutory referral and consultation process, which saw participation from major airport stakeholders.

This 2020 Master Plan will be in effect for eight years from now, or alternatively until the airport formulates another master plan.

The final plan is expected to be published on the airport’s website in the next two weeks.