THE Orange Airport upgrade is on track, with work due to be completed by the end of the year.
In the past month contractors have installed the check-in counter and arrivals baggage carousel, and mostly completed the toilets.
Final coats of paint, carpet, passenger seating, security systems, the departure and arrivals board and hire car booths will be tackled before the terminal building’s scheduled completion at the end of August.
However, the official opening will be at the mercy of the weather. Kerb and guttering and foundations for the undercover drop-off area have been completed, but ideal weather conditions are needed before the road sealant can be laid.
About five weeks was added to the timeframe for the surrounding road network after contractor Hewatt Earthworks entered administration, however, Orange City Council commercial and emergency services manager Kel Gardiner said, since then, work had run smoothly.
Mr Gardiner said about 45,000 cubic metres of soil had been laid at the site of the new runway and, once complete, it would be three metres deep, using about 21,000 cubic metres of road material.
“The further we get out of the ground [at the runway], the better, because the weather doesn’t hold us up so much,” he said.
The Huntley Road intersection is almost complete, with the diverted road scheduled to open later this week, depending on weather.
Work is also in progress on the extended taxi area on the western side of the facility, which will allow for future additional hangars.
Airport Advisory Committee chair and deputy mayor Chris Gryllis said he was happy with the progress of the works.
“I’m absolutely excited considering the issues we had to deal with, and the council’s done an excellent job,” he said.
“We will be finished on time and on budget, but we’re not here to race.”
With the upgrade attracting recent criticism from Regional Express as an overdevelopment, Cr Gryllis said the terminal featured items Rex had requested and larger aircraft would be able to use the airport once work was complete.