The unscreened departures gate went live on July 1 for airlines like Rex that do not demand security screening. According to the regulations set forth by the Federal Government Armidale Council, a plane with fewer than 40 seats is exempt from the requirement to undergo security screening.

Rex is pleased that Armidale Airport has recently undergone renovations, which have resulted in the establishment of a different departure gate for flights that do not require screening.

Aspen Armidale Airport 034 1024x683 1 - Travel Radar - Aviation News
© Apsen | Commercial Interiors |

Rex’s National Airports Manager, David Brooksby said.

“Rex applauds Armidale Council’s enlightened approach to carry out minor renovations works to facilitate screened and unscreened departures.


Armidale Airport Unscreened Departures Upgrade 

The current terminal, which opened in the middle of the 1990s, was built with the capacity to handle 50,000 passenger movements at first. With Regional Express joining QANTAS Link on the Sydney route, check-in and baggage handling demands on the terminal have increased to 120,000 over the past ten years.

The need for an upgrade to the existing terminal facilities is set by Aspen, in addition to this doubling of the number of passengers, by the possibility of aircraft-type upgrades serving Armidale and the likely future requirement for passenger and baggage screening.

Rex’s National Airports Manager, David Brooksby said.

“Whyalla Council foolishly wanted to curry favour with Qantas and refused to facilitate screened and unscreened departures although the terminal could easily accommodate this, but instead slugged Rex’s passengers with a security surcharge of about $40 to subsidise Qantas operations. As a result, Rex stopped servicing the Whyalla Adelaide route on 30 June 2023, which it did faithfully throughout the turmoils and calamities of the past 37 years.”

Armidale Airport Terminal Map
© Armidale Regional Council

Aspen’s Project 

The Armidale airport restoration represents a great improvement. Aspen and AW Edwards brought the new area to life and made it a welcoming environment for all visitors and employees. The scope comprised the café, parents’ room bench, auto rental desk, staff kitchen, and check-in and departure counters.

Apsen | Commercial Interiors
© Apsen | Commercial Interiors

The check-in and departures desks, as well as the cafe, were constructed using Polytec’s imi-beton grey concrete series. It was created with the idea of using industrial raw materials. Other finishes were laminate, corian, and Flotex Vision. This, together with the exposed wood beams and floor to ceiling windows, produces a really welcome feel.

Armidale Council Investment 

The majority of the funding for the project comes from the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Provincial The Travel Industry Foundation Asset, which also includes $6.55 million for the terminal renovation and the remainder from the Central Government and Chamber.

The expansion of the airport terminal, which will cost $9.42 million, will feature a new café and shop space, a new luggage carousel, and more passenger seats.

Rex’s National Airports Manager, David Brooksby concluded that.

“This is the only way to ensure that passengers of airlines like Rex do not need to pay an additional charge to subsidise the screening cost of airlines using larger aircraft,”

What do you think of Armidale Airports Initiative for unscreened departures? Let us know in the comments below!

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Samuel Ayobami Ojerinola
Samuel Ayobami Ojerinola
Aviation Reporter - With a deep background in travel including previous work for LoveHolidays, Omega and HRG, Samuel contributes news and analysis here at Travel Radar. Samuel also holds a BA degree in Travel & Tourism Management from the University of West London.