The Australian Government has approved an expansion of Hobart International Airport in Cambridge, Tasmania.

The project aims to deliver long-term economic benefits to Tasmania, and is in line with the 2015 Hobart Airport Master Plan.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said: "The runway extension will enable Hobart Airport and the surrounding region to capitalise on the growth in international passengers and freight forecast for Tasmania in the coming years."

The project will include a 500m expansion of the existing runway at the airport, as well as the construction of related aviation infrastructure.

Measuring more than 2.75km, the new runway will be capable of handling larger aeroplanes with greater flight ranges.

Chester added: "The extended runway will significantly enhance Hobart Airport’s aviation capacity and allow it to cater for a greater diversity of aircraft types and higher passenger volumes."

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"The extended runway will significantly enhance Hobart Airport’s aviation capacity and allow it to cater for a greater diversity of aircraft types."

The runway extension will also boost Hobart’s position as a hub supporting Antarctic services.

Tasmanian Senator Richard Colbeck said: "Increased aviation capacity is essential to meet the Tourism 2020 strategy growth targets and underneath these passenger seats is valuable freight capacity for use by Tasmania’s premium food and wine producers.

"During Australia Week in China last week, I was approached by China Eastern Airlines who specifically raised access to Hobart airport with me.

"I was happy to report that they would soon be able to fly direct to Hobart following the completion of the extension."

Hobart International Airport will have to make this major development plan available to the people of Australia within 50 business days.

Image: The new extended runway at Hobart Airport will measure over 2.75km. Photo: courtesy of YSSYguy.