PORTLAND airport has won a national industry award for the best regional airport with passenger traffic of less than 50,000 people.
The airport won the award from the Australian Airports Association (AAA) for a $2.1 million upgrade that redeveloped its terminal.
A spokeswoman for the AAA said it was a commendable move for a small council such as Glenelg Shire to undertake such a large upgrade of its airport.
The upgrade included expanding and improving the airport’s passenger terminal, expanding the general aviation apron, installing new taxiway lights, additional flood lighting, improving aviation apron security and safety and construction of a new maintenance hangar and airport management office.
Funding for the upgrade came principally from the state government and Glenelg Shire Council.
Sharp Airlines operates regular flights from Portland to Hamilton and Melbourne.
Portland airport handles about 25,000 passengers a year.
The airport’s senior reporting officer Sam Kohlman said the award was a big morale boost for the airport.
The award was announced at AAA’s national conference in Darwin this week.
Mount Gambier airport nominated Portland airport for the award.
Mount Gambier airport received an award for innovation for its connection with its community through social media, including its Facebook page, Twitter and Tumblr.