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Rooftop bar and restaurant feature in Melbourne Airport’s planned redevelopment of international terminal

Melbourne Airport will get a new hotel designed by architects Fender Katsalidis. Courtesy: Herald Sun

Melbourne Airport is to undergo a $500 million makeover, including a redeveloped international terminal and new entry and exit roads.

The suite of projects will be rolled out over the next few years, including an elevated loop-road network to tackle congestion at pick-up and drop-off points.

A rooftop piazza will feature in a proposed ­upgrade of the international terminal, while a new hotel and public swimming pool are planned for the airport precinct.

The redeveloped four-­storey Terminal 2 will have 30 new shops, restaurants and cafes, five new airline lounges and a mezzanine area with diner and bar.

Airport retail chief Andrew Gardiner said the T2 expansion would feature uniquely Melbourne elements.

“Under our proposed concept, the development would include a rooftop bar and ­restaurant plus a viewing deck, replicating the rooftop bars ­located in our famous CBD laneways,” he said.

Mr Gardiner added there would also be more departure gate space, while the new lounges and shops would build on T2’s existing luxury precinct.

“It’s an exciting concept, and one that we feel will really bring Melbourne’s culture to life at the airport,” he said.

Details of the proposals were released on Wednesday night at a stakeholder briefing event for the airport’s latest masterplan.

Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said that in 2017-18 the facility had welcomed 37 million people, including at least 10 million international passengers for the first time.

“Getting the traveller experience right is fundamental to the success of our business, but we also need to keep investing in, and developing, the whole airport asset to help our airline customers be successful in their businesses too,” he said.

“As we drive efficiency by introducing more self-service technologies, extra baggage carousels, infrastructure, or deliver dozens of other initiatives, we’ve been helping our airlines cut their total cost of doing business.”

Planned to start construction in early 2019 is a $150 million 464-room hotel to be built in partnership with the Accor group and branded as Novotel and Ibis.

The Fender Katsalidis-designed building will be located near T4, in the airport’s busy The Hive precinct, and include a commercial gym and pool.

The masterplan also calls for an elevated loop road network to reduce traffic congestion by separating public traffic from commercial operators.

The existing public pick-up lanes will be relocated from the forecourt to level three of the main carpark servicing terminals one, two and three.

Four new roads will also be built under the changes, to be delivered in stages.

They include an elevated express link from the Tullamarine Freeway to the existing T4 elevated transport hub, and an elevated connection joining the existing T4 entry ramp with the main terminal multi-level carpark.

Stage two of the project will involve grade separation of the heavily congested Terminal Dve intersection to separate public and commercial traffic, cutting travel times into the airport by five minutes.

The full project cost will be up to $350 million, with work on the T4 express link due to start in mid-2019.

To help meet the airport’s energy needs, stage one of a solar farm is expected to be installed in 2020 with 20,000 solar panels next to the western side of Northern Access Rd.