Australia's Canberra Airport will embark on an extension of its western concourse terminal, as part of an A$350 million ($315 million) upgrade of the airport.

The new 40,000 sq m (430,556 sq feet) terminal will be completed in 2012, says transport minister Anthony Albanese, who approved the plan.

The terminal will be located partly over the existing terminal site and partly over the existing Qantas Airways maintenance facility, he adds.

The airport's southern concourse is already undergoing expansion, and this is expected to be completed later this year.

Canberra Airport handles three million passengers a year, and expects this to more than double to 6.3 million by 2029.

"The extension and upgrade of the terminal facilities will significantly improve the airport and its capacity to accommodate the forecast passenger growth," says Albanese.

With the upgrade, the terminal will have separate levels for arrivals and departures, up to 22 extra check-in counters, up to six additional aerobridges and international processing facilities, he adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news