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 Post subject: Avalon Airport
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2013, 08:10 
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Avalon takes flight. Herald Sun 22/4/'13, p22. By Phillip Hudson, national political editor

AVALON will become an international airport, with a deal to be struck today to allow direct daily flights to the Philippines.

Fiipino low-cost carrier Cebu is tipped to be the first airline to fly into Avalon in a landing-rights agreement between Australia and the Philippines to be announced by federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

It will take up to six months for regulatory approvals, and six to nine months for Avalon to build customs and immigration facilties.

The deal will open the door for other international flights to Avalon and will boost trade and tourism for Geelong and southwest Victoria.

Mr Albanese told the 'Herald Sun' the deal would bring more visitors, jobs and economic growth to the region.

At the same time, Sydney is still dragging its heels on a location for its second airport.

"An international airport for Avalon has been on the community's wish list as far back as 1997. It was a key election commitment of this federal Labor Government, and I look forward to seeing the first international flight touch down at Avalon," Mr Albanese said.

Avalon chief executive Justin Giddings said there was still hard work ahead before the first flight took off. "It's a great step forward and it's great recognitionfrom the Fedral Government, which has worked to secure us these rights in difficult negotiations," he said.

Avalon also wants to secure flights to a ragne of destinations, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the US.

Today's announcement may also boost Labor's hopes in the marginal seat of Corangamite, with Labor MP Darren Cheeseman calling the deal "a truly historic day for our region." End quote.

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