Airport work on track

With work on the Merimbula Airport terminal well underway, project manager Jenny Symons is promising the new terminal will be completed in time for Christmas "providing we don't have buckets of rain".

Originally there had been consideration of keeping the existing terminal open while work took place but Ms Symons said a proposal from Joss Construction to have a temporary terminal - which opened on April 30 - has made things a lot easier.

This is more so in light of builders finding a fairly severe white ant problem which has required replacement of joists with metal girders.

And while the old terminal looks as if it has been stripped to almost nothing, renovating rather than replacing is more cost-effective, Ms Symons said.

"It would have taken the best part of $1m to replace it but just a quarter of that to renovate it," she said.

The roof which contained asbestos was removed and replaced and likewise "anywhere where standards have changed since the 1950s" which was when it was built.

I want to thank the community for their patience. The pain is due to end and it will be worth it for the end result.

Project manager Jenny Symons

"Everything in the ground though, the slab, the pipes etc was solid," Ms Symons said.

The arrivals and baggage area will be moved to the northern end of the renovated terminal although the cafe will remain in the same position but will undergo modernisation. People will be able to exit the airport from close to the cafe area and outdoor seating both close to the cafe and along the fence overlooking the runway will remain.

"People will come into the airport where they used to but there will be an automatic door both into and out of the airport," Ms Symons said - something those with heavy bags or children will welcome.

The same spot for check-in will be used although it will face out to the apron. The renovated terminal will extend closer to the runway area and a door from the building will take passengers directly onto the apron.

The toilets will be updated and there will be a separate departure lounge. This will be in readiness for any changes to security screening (bags and passengers) that the government may decide to introduce.

With an eye to business travellers there will also be some upright seating with power for those using laptops.