Following federal government approval, Melbourne Airport will welcome its first new-build hotel in almost two decades by the end of 2020.
The property, to be located right outside Tullamarine’s terminals, will be an Ibis Styles/Novotel branded hotel with 464 rooms.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the Fender Katsalidis-designed hotel will form the centre of Melbourne Airport’s new The Hive precinct, which will include 10,000 square metres of new office facilities for Commonwealth agencies and clients.
New hybrid check-in and baggage drop areas are also on their way to Tullamarine after the airport extended its contract with technology firm SITA.
Similar to its international terminal, the new zones will allow carriers to offer a mix of self-service and assisted kiosks that can be configured differently throughout the day, Australian Aviation reported.
“Technology plays an increasingly important role in the operation of an airport, particularly as we strive to streamline the passenger journey through the airports and make the processing experience as unobtrusive as possible,” Melbourne Airport chief information officer Luke Halliday remarked.
SITA said more than 400 passenger touchpoints would be rolled out across the terminals “including mobile and standard check-in desks, gate boarding, self-service check-in kiosks, hybrid and standard self-bag drops”.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Airport has been forced into a rethink of the direction of its planned third runway, which could result in several years of increased congestion and delays at the hub.
According to Fairfax Media, CEO Lyell Strambi said the hub now wants to build a north-south airstrip instead of the east-west runway that had been planned since 2013.
Thanks to strong winds, a new analysis has found that the east-west runway would have to be closed 17% of the time, which is over three times more than first thought.
“There will be a lot of days of the year when we won’t be able to use [either east-west runway] and we’ll be stuck with the north-south runway, so that in itself is quite problematic,” Mr Strambi said.
Melbourne Airport predicts it will hit maximum capacity next year.
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