Canberra Airport general manager Stephen Byron with plans for the new international lounge.

Canberra Airport general manager Stephen Byron with plans for the new international lounge. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Passengers departing from Canberra Airport on international flights will have access to a new terminal lounge, complete with a bar, cafe, phone charging points and duty free shopping.

Airport boss Stephen Byron said the $18 million development would take 18 weeks to build and be ready for the first direct international flights by Singapore Airlines, starting on September 21. 

The lounge and arrivals areas, designed by the new terminal’s original architects Guida Moseley Brown, will create about 120 jobs during construction. The airport is currently in negotiations with a duty free provider and the Australian Border Force for customs and immigration requirements. 

Artist impressions of the international arrivals area at Canberra Airport

Artist impressions of the international arrivals area at Canberra Airport Photo: Suppied

Planning for the lounge began a day after the deal for flights between Singapore and Wellington, New Zealand, and Mr Byron said the new areas would fit seamlessly with the award-winning terminal building. 

Canberra firm Construction Control will fit out the 2750 square meter lounge and the 2400 square metre arrival hall. 

“We’d always allowed the space for international facilities,” Mr Bryon said. 

Artist impressions of the new departure area at Canberra Airport

Artist impressions of the new departure area at Canberra Airport Photo: Suppied

“The departures area is upstairs on the third floor next to the Virgin lounge and the arrivals area is next to Virgin arrivals with a dedicated separate facility. They’ve been left as empty shells, awaiting an international carrier to begin service.” 

The lounge will be similar to a private airline club lounge, Mr Byron said. The airport was open to future private lounges being added to the terminal. 

“We are actually breaking the rules here. Normally lounges like this are done by airlines for their VIP travellers, but in Canberra we are doing it and we are doing it for every international passenger flying out of Canberra.” 

Artist impressions of the international arrivals area at Canberra Airport

Artist impressions of the international arrivals area at Canberra Airport Photo: Suppied

Guida Moseley Brown partner Paul Mutton said the airport terminal and new lounges would be a fitting gateway for the national capital to the world. 

“The existing terminal, which we designed, was made very light, airy and open. The international zones will continue that theme, with lots of volume in the ceilings, lot of natural light, very clear and easy and navigation through them,” he said.  

“Technology is a big focus on the new fit out. The passport control facilities will be state-of-the-art and for the arrivals there will be new technology that hasn’t been used in other airports in Australia so far. That’s developing as well.” 

Artist impressions of the new departure area at Canberra Airport

Artist impressions of the new departure area at Canberra Airport Photo: Suppied

Laptop and smartphone charging points will be available around the lounge area and arrivals electronic smart gates will be installed.   

In a code-sharing deal with Virgin Australia, flights from Singapore will arrive in Canberra on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8.35am, starting in September. Tickets are already on sale for the services.

Passengers travelling on to Wellington, New Zealand, will depart from Canberra at 9.50am.

In the other direction, flights from Wellington will arrive at Canberra Airport on the same days at 10.05pm and depart for Singapore at 11.30pm.

Passengers will fly on one of nine retro-fitted Boeing 777-200s. 

From Changi Airport, Singapore offers connections throughout Asia and Europe on about 90 daily flights.