Passengers have given the thumbs up to stage one of the Port Macquarie Airport terminal upgrade.
The first part of the almost $10 million expansion project opened on Wednesday, June 26.
Stage one works include an expanded departure lounge, new cafe, passenger screening, amenities and dedicated car rental area.
Passengers can connect to Wi-Fi and enjoy ducted air conditioning and improved flight information displays.
Regular traveller Martin Faith said stage one of the upgrade was great.
"It's a lot nicer set-up and far more comfortable," the Telegraph Point resident said.
"It looks far more professional and I think it's a vast improvement on the original airport [terminal].
"The original airport [terminal] served its needs, but as Port gets bigger and busier, we need the better facility."
Mayor Peta Pinson said she could not be more proud of the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
"To deliver such a wonderful asset to our community is just so thrilling," she said.
Cr Pinson said the region was open for business and tourism on a grander scale.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said it was really exciting to see the first stage open.
"It just demonstrates we are a regional city, and with that status, people expect to have first class facilities from the day they walk off the plane and that's what they are going to get here in Port Macquarie," she said.
Cowper MP Pat Conaghan said the refurbishment would provide capacity for many years to come.
"The benefits for tourism, business and economic growth in the area will be realised," he said.
Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association president Janette Hyde said the airport terminal upgrade was fantastic for leisure and corporate travellers.
"It has brought us up to speed," she said.
"We present a really lovely face of Port Macquarie when people arrive and that's important."
Chris Barrow is the owner of the new airport cafe called Biggles Flight Lounge.
He summed up stage one of the airport terminal upgrade as outstanding.
"It is only going to add to the growth of the area," Mr Barrow said.
"Airports are a perfect indication as to how a town is going and that is reflected everywhere you go."
AW Edwards is constructing the airport terminal upgrade.
AW Edwards regional manager Kimbal Dunham said the project had gone like clockwork.
"It has really been a privilege to be involved in such a landmark project for council," he said.
The upgrade is funded through a $5 million contribution from the state government, $1.25 million from the federal government and up to $3.625 million from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Work is continuing on stage two to deliver an expanded passenger check-in area and baggage claim carousel.
Some temporary arrangements will be in place through to the end of 2019 to allow for stage two to be completed.
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