Queensland Airports Limited

Redevelopment of Townsville Airport

Explore the transformation of Townsville Airport in Queensland. NAIF's $50 million investment fuels redevelopment for improved access and regional growth.

Investment Decision

January 2019


Transport & Logistics


Townsville, Queensland

family with suitcases walking through the Townsville airport


NAIF Loan Amount up to


Total Project Value


Length of Loan

15 years



Forecast Jobs


Project Status


Townsville Airport, a member of the Queensland Airports Limited group (QAL), is set to undergo a timely redevelopment thanks to a loan from NAIF. The modernisation project will increase the airport’s accessibility and efficiency, ultimately bolstering regional economic growth and job creation in North Queensland.

About Queensland Airports Limited Group

Townsville Airport is a major economic enabler for North Queensland, supporting more than 3,000 jobs, contributing $420 million to the economy, and supporting many sectors of the local economy including resources, tourism, agriculture and education.

Project Overview

The Townsville Airport terminal redevelopment will underpin regional growth by addressing current capacity issues during peak times and provide for the airport’s expected growth in passenger numbers.

Planned upgrades include:

  • Terminal refurbishment, including increased lounge capacity.
  • A new terminal roof.
  • New core infrastructure (including water, fire and waste facilities).
  • Additional works.

How We Helped

QAL worked with NAIF to enable the acceleration of the latter stages of the redevelopment of Townsville Airport. NAIF’s loan helped bring forward the redevelopment of the terminal and remaining project works.

Public Impact

Ensuring Townsville Airport’s sustainability is critical for the local economy and growth of both Townsville and North Queensland.

Independent analysis forecasts infrastructure funded by the NAIF loan will generate approximately $82 million in economic benefits for the region over the next 30 years through additional regional visitor spend, traveller time savings and other benefits.

The project is expected to create 207 additional full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 50 full-time equivalent operational jobs after the project is finished.

The loan from NAIF paves the way for us to move ahead with this important project, which will address capacity issues for Australia’s 11th busiest airport. The redevelopment has been in the pipeline for several years and the NAIF loan looks set to unlock this opportunity for Townsville and North Queensland.

Chris Mills


Related Links


3% (during construction)


3% (during construction)


31.5% (onsite June 2023)

Indigenous Engagement

Traditional owners of this land

  • The Wulgurukaba people

The Wulgurukaba people are the Traditional Owners of the land on which Townsville Airport is located. The Wulgurukaba people’s lands cover most of the urban core of the City of Townsville, north of the Ross River, and extend north towards the locality of Rollingstone.  

The Wulgurukaba people also inhabited nearby Magnetic Island and used canoes (Wulgurukaba means canoe people) to traverse the waters of Cleveland Bay. Wulgurukaba referred to their country around the City of Townsville as Gurambilbarra, while they referred to Magnetic Island as Yunbenun. 

Indigenous Engagement Strategy Commitments

  • Townsville Airports Indigenous Engagement Strategy (IES) encompasses commitments in essential areas such as participation, employment, procurement, and community development. 
  • Townsville Airport has set a 3% target for both Indigenous employment and Indigenous procurement during the construction phase of the project. This commitment underscores their dedication to involving Indigenous individuals and businesses in their initiatives.
  • Townsville Airport established an Indigenous Working Group, which will play a vital role in facilitating Indigenous engagement and fostering relationships with the region's Traditional Owner groups. They are also committed to launching an Indigenous employment program, ensuring employment opportunities for Indigenous individuals.
  • Townsville Airport have also initiated an Indigenous scholarship program to support educational pursuits within the Indigenous community. Collaborating with Traditional Owners, they are working on the development of a Welcome to Country display within the airport terminal, showcasing their commitment to Indigenous culture and heritage. 

Indigenous Engagement Strategy


  • By July 2023, Townsville Airport surpassed their employment targets during the construction phase, with Indigenous employment reaching 31.5% on site in June 2023. Additionally, Townsville Airport has actively engaged local Townsville-based Indigenous businesses, awarding contracts for various project-related works.
  • The Airport Expansion project has now progressed to the airside phase, focusing primarily on upgrading the departures area and installing a new escalator.
  • The Townsville Airport Indigenous Scholarship program has been launched in collaboration with James Cook University. This initiative supports two Indigenous students pursuing studies in fields such as Business, Commerce, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, and Information Technology.
  • Townsville Airport demonstrates its commitment to Indigenous initiatives through the Queensland Airports Community Benefit Fund which dedicates grant funding to Indigenous causes. These efforts exemplify Townsville Airport dedication to fostering Indigenous education and community support.