The Darwin Airport in Australia on May 9 welcomed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who, along with Darwin Airport CEO Ian Cew, officially opened a $75 million upgrade to the airport that includes seven Delaware North-operated retail outlets – with an eighth on its way in early June. 
Abbott said Australia’s Northern Australia will become increasingly important to the country’s economy, and the airport’s expansion is proof of the business community’s faith in the area.
“I say to any of my fellow citizens who think that the north is some remote frontier: Come here; come here to Darwin; see the dynamic, vibrant, and the diverse and prosperous economies that have been created here. As time goes by, Northern Australia is going to be more and more important,” he said.
The upgrade includes the addition of more than 118,000 square feet – or 11,000 square meters, boosting the airport’s total to 27,000 square meters – along with extra baggage systems, security screening areas, new aircraft parking bays and of course, the new retail outlets.
The grand opening celebration took place at Hector’s Bar, one of the new Delaware North-operated establishments. Hector’s Bar got its name from the famously consistent storm cloud that forms over the Tiwi Islands during the wet season.
“Working with Delaware North enables us to provide a variety in our offerings and cater to a diverse passenger mix,” said Jim Parashos, director of commercial and aviation development. “Hector’s Bar is the latest in a long list of options now on offer—coffees at Giancarlo or Stokes Corner store…meals at Dôme Café or Bumbu, and a takeaway option at Hungry Jack’s.”
Kieran Fitzpatrick, executive director for Delaware North’s Australian airport portfolio, certainly agreed that Hector’s Bar was not only a fitting setting but also a solid addition to the company’s offering at the Darwin Airport.
“Delaware North has a strong track record for collaboration and creating outlets that reflect their locations and work within their surroundings and the vision of our partners,” he said. “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved in developing Hector’s Bar – and that this bar could sit nowhere else but Darwin Airport.”
HECTOR is the name given to the thunder cloud that forms regularly (nearly every afternoon) on the Tisi Island in the Northern Territory.  From September to March, “Hector the Convector” is known as one of the world’s most consistent thunderstorms – reaching heights of approximately 66,000 feet (20 kilometers). Pilots during World War II named the natural phenomena “Hector” and used it as a navigational beacon.
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