Orange City Council will be spoilt for choice when deciding on plans for the airport upgrade, with 17 architectural firms from across the state interested in designing the expanded terminal.
Twenty architects met at the airport this week for a briefing about details of the $13.9 million airport expansion to include a new terminal, extended runway, taxiway and access roads.
Airport Community Committee chair councillor Chris Gryllis said the terminal was well past its use-by date.
“I’m obviously very excited that the importance of the project has been seen by a number of architects and professionals,” he said.
“We know exactly what we want but it’s nice to have options.”
Cr Gryllis said the expressions of interest for the airport designs will be open to everyone not just local firms.
“You can’t give any preferences,” he said.
“It’s a specialised project and there are people that specialise in these type of things.
Cr Gryllis said he would like to see a terminal building that was unique and useful.
“My dream airport is a convenient one,” he said.
“Nice and attractive but paying most attention to convenience, I believe we can do both.”
“It’s not a luxury item it’s a very essential item.”
He said the airport expansion had been welcomed by neighbours, users, operators and the general public and had only received “very minimal objections”.
“I had a letter from a company offering $10,000 because they want to see our airport enlarged and improved,” he said.
“The council will consider that offer.”
Cr Gryllis said the airport’s main operator Regional Express Airlines (Rex) had given input into designs for the expansion.
He denied that council had a difficult relationship with the company, following a dispute over passenger taxes.
“Our relationship with Rex with the exception of a few minor issues has been a very good one,” he said.
“We have a very good working relationship.”