Adelaide International Airport Terminal Expansion, Australia
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Adelaide International Airport Terminal Expansion

Adelaide international airport in Australia will undergo a major upgrade to enhance the passenger experience. Situated four miles west of the city of Adelaide, it is the sixth biggest international airport in the country.

Project Type

Terminal expansion


Adelaide, Australia

Estimated Investment

A$165m ($123m)

Start of Construction

July 2018


The Adelaide International Airport terminal expansion is being carried out in an effort to enhance the passenger experience. Situated four miles west of the city of Adelaide, it is the sixth biggest international airport in Australia.

The airport’s existing terminal is facing capacity constraints due to a 50% increase in domestic and international passenger traffic since 2005.

The Terminal Expansion 2018 project will encompass upgrades to both international arrivals and departure sections. Expansion and refurbishment of the retail and dining space in both domestic and international areas is also included.

Construction of the Adelaide International Airport terminal expansion will start in July 2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2021, at an estimated cost of A$165m ($123m). The expanded terminal will be able to handle the projected growing traffic demand until 2029.

The airport reported an 11% year-on-year increase in international passengers in June 2017 compared to the previous year. The total passenger traffic grew by 2.5% to 8.09 million during the same period.

Adelaide International Airport terminal expansion details

The airport’s existing terminal will be expanded and refurbished aiming to provide an improved travel experience for international passengers.

The project will increase the terminal’s total footprint to 16,500m² and upgrade an additional 18,400m² to increase retail space and accommodate a larger duty-free area.

Upgrades include installation of a second baggage belt in the international arrivals hall and increasing the overall arrivals belt length from 70m to 170m. The emigration and immigration processing and security screening areas will be expanded and shifted from Level 2 to Level 1.

The boarding gate and queuing system will also be improved as part of the expansion. Gate 18 will serve as the permanent international gate, while the remaining international gates will be used for both domestic and international operations. The retail and boarding facilities at Gate 18 will also be upgraded.

“The project is expected to contribute $167m to South Australia’s gross state product and promote tourism development in the state.”

The international departures area will be provided with improved family facilities with play area and better accessible facilities for passengers with disabilities.

Retail spaces across the domestic and international areas of the terminal will be increased by 80% to 7,257m² to accommodate larger retail and dining facilities.

The project will also include relocation of the Virgin Australia Lounge and expansion of office space for airlines and regulatory agencies.

The expanded terminal will house a new common user premium international lounge and new VIP facilities for international arrivals and departures.

Key players involved

The Adelaide International Airport terminal expansion project will be executed by Adelaide Airport Limited (AAL) through a multi-disciplinary project team.

AAL awarded Watpac the construction management contract for the terminal expansion, in June 2018. Work also includes services relocations, civil works, airside fencing, landside works, demolition, landscaping as well as construction of entry roadways.

Benefits of Adelaide International Airport terminal expansion

The terminal expansion project is expected to create employment for 200 people at peak construction. An additional 630 direct and indirect jobs will be created through the retail and dining expansion.

The project is expected to contribute $167m to South Australia’s gross state product and promote tourism development in the state.

It is also expected to support future air service growth by attracting more international airline partners for new services and destinations.

Facilities of the existing terminal at Adelaide International Airport

The existing domestic and international terminal at the airport was opened in October 2005. It has a total of 14 aerobridges and can accommodate approximately 3,000 passengers an hour. Passenger check-in facilities are located on Level 2 of the terminal.

The terminal incorporates state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to serve 24 aircraft simultaneously.

The passenger boarding bridges for international and domestic passengers are located on the Levels 1 and 2 respectively. The baggage reclaim facility is located on the ground level. The Level 2 also houses a pharmacy and ATMs.

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