Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman This week, Newcastle Airport has reached a major milestone in the terminal expansion project, with completion of Stage 1 of the project.The milestone was recognised with a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by Minister for Planning and Environment and Minister for Women, Pru Goward. This stage has been completed on schedule and comprises a 2,600m2 extension to the existing terminal building. The terminal now exists of a new arrivals hall and provides a dedicated area for permanent customs, immigration, and quarantine facilities in readiness for potential international services. The formal completion of Stage 1 means Newcastle Airport is able to discuss future direct international services to and from Newcastle without infrastructure being a barrier. Newcastle Airport’s chief executive officer Paul Hughes, said he was proud of the international facilities the completion of Stage 1 provided.“We now we have a building; we can now clearly show that we are ready and able. I am hopeful that direct international services will soon be a reality for our Hunter travelers,” Mr Hughes said.Stage 2 of the redevelopment will commence in the coming week, which involves a full refurbishment of the existing terminal which will become dedicated to check-in and an expansive departure lounge. In line with stage 1 of the expansion completion, Newcastle Airport has also announced the recommencement of direct services between Newcastle and Canberra, starting on 27 April 2015. The service is to be operated by Pelican Airlines under the Fly Pelican brand on a 19-seat pressurised BAE Jetstream 32 aircraft.The airline plans to operate double-daily services Monday to Friday and a Sunday afternoon service. In addition to the Newcastle-Canberra service, the airline will also operate services from Newcastle to Sydney with onward connections to Mudgee.