After experiencing its busiest year ever with more than 2.6 million people passing through the gates, Hobart Airport last month completed a $4.5 million refurbishment of the departures lounge just in time for the peak summer period.

It is anticipated more people than the entire Tasmanian population will use the airport over the holiday period with 520,000 people expected to pass through the gates.

Hobart Airport Executive General Manger Operations and Corporate Affairs Matt Cocker said the renovations had come just in time with an extra 20,000 passengers expected through the terminal, up four per cent from the same time last year.

“This is the busiest time of year for us and we want to ensure we can continue to deliver an improved customer experience throughout the peak season,” Mr Cocker said.

“Boxing Day and New Year’s Day saw 74 flights operating, making these the busiest days of the year.

“The enhancement sees passengers benefit from an additional 170 seats, a refurbished bar and café with new food and beverage options as well as renovated amenities in the main departures lounge.

“Whilst planning is continuing for the longer-term redevelopment of our terminal, we are committed to enhancing the customer experience and are confident this refresh will make travelling over the holidays more comfortable for Tasmanians and visitors to our state.”

The airport has experienced six per cent year on year growth for the past four years and is one of the fastest growing airports in the country.

Mr Cocker said Hobart Airport continues to plan for a terminal expansion into the future.

Any such development requires extensive public consultation, airline negotiation and Federal Government approval. This consultation process will take between 6 – 12 months.