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Magazines : Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011
International flights, direct railway link, fuel pipeline from Shell... WHEN the first international flight touches down at Avalon Airport no one will have more champagne corks to pop than the airport s chief executive Justin Giddings. Of course nothing is certain yet about when the big day will be, but Giddings is certain of success. "We are still waiting for that final approval to go international but we are ready to go, he says. Listening to Giddings talk about Avalon is like a boy with the world s biggest playset out at the Linfox owned facility. e Baillieu State Government has promised to connect a passenger rail line to the growing airport. A move which Justin says breaks the back of one of the perception problems Avalon has faced since day one. " is has enormous potential to create significant growth at Avalon as we have always faced challenges with distance and access to the Melbourne market, he says. " e reason why some people haven t been coming to Avalon is the extra 10 to 15 minutes down the road. All of a sudden we will have a rail link directly into the terminal. It will bring tremendous growth as it is something Tullamarine hasn t got. e first step in this process will be getting $47 million from the State Government for planning, design, land acquisition and early construction. e new passenger line will link the track between Lara and Little River to the airport and offer services directly to Geelong and Southern Cross. e first train to Avalon is expected by 2016. e entire project is expected to cost about the $250 million with funds to come from a variety of sources including state and federal government. But this is far from the only ball in the air for Giddings and Avalon. At the same time plans are underway for a fuel pipeline bringing the valuable aircraft fuel from Shell directly to Avalon. is was kicked off by $3 million in planning cash from the Artist's impression of the redevelopment of Avalon as an international airport. 40 GEELONG ADVERTISER
Breakaway Autumn 2011