Big plans for tran­sit ter­mi­nal

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

CRUISE Whit­sun­days has un­veiled plans for its new tran­sit ter­mi­nal at Port of Air­lie which is hoped to be op­er­a­tional by mid-2014.

At an agent’s night on­board the newly re­fur­bished Sea­horse last week, Cruise Whit­sun­days ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Chris Ja­cobs said the com­pany had pur­chased more than dou­ble the amount of seabed orig­i­nally as­signed to Fan­tasea as well as an ad­ja­cent block of land and would be build­ing a state-of-the-art tran­sit ter­mi­nal on site.

“This is a big step up from any­thing seen in the Whit­sun­days be­fore in terms of bet­ter cop­ing with look­ing af­ter the many hun­dreds of thou­sands of guests who come into the Whit­sun­days,” Mr Ja­cobs said.

Mr Ja­cobs said the ter­mi­nal’s de­sign was based on an air­port, “ex­cept on the other side of the build­ing in­stead of planes are boats”.

Just like an air­port, the build­ing will be split into ar­rival and de­par­ture ar­eas. Its large check-in area will in­clude lug­gage con­veyor belts, ticket ma­chines for elec­tronic board­ing and a cafe which will dou­ble as a wait­ing area with seat­ing ca­pac­ity for 150-200 peo­ple. There will also be a gift shop, toi­let fa­cil­i­ties and full wheel­chair ac­cess. Cruise Whit­sun­days administrations will be run from a large of­fice on the first floor.

“Port of Air­lie will be­come our home en­tirely,” Mr Ja­cobs said.

From an aes­thetic point of view, Mr Ja­cobs said the build­ing had been de­signed to fully in­te­grate with Coun­cil’s new bus tran­sit fa­cil­ity and the rest of the Port of Air­lie de­vel­op­ment.

As for when the plans would be­come a re­al­ity, Mr Ja­cobs said the de­sign draw­ings and ap­pli­ca­tions were in with Coun­cil “and the 342 other de­part­ments that have to sign off on it”.

“That process will take about six months [and] the day we’ve got all the ap­provals we will start build­ing,” he said.“It’s go­ing to be some­where around the mid­dle of next year when we hope to be open­ing this fa­cil­ity and op­er­at­ing it.”

CON­CEPT PLANS: A con­cept de­sign draw­ing of the tran­sit fa­cil­ity Cruise Whit­sun­days in­tends to build at Port of Air­lie, which is based on the de­sign of an air­port, with sep­a­rate ar­eas for ar­rivals and de­par­tures.

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