Bendigo Airport has been recognised for its recent transformation, awarded the title of Small Regional Airport of the Year at the Australian Airports Association's annual industry awards this week.
The airport commenced commercial flights by Qantas to Sydney in March, with the terminal expanded to accommodate the increased traffic, after it was originally constructed in the 1970s and was not suitable for commercial flights.
The completed works included a building extension, 76-space car park, communication connections, baggage collection area, terminal seating and cafe facilities.
City of Greater Bendigo business services manager Benjamin Devanny said the airport's transformation was undertaken by 46 local companies in four months.
"We're very proud to be recognised for our work to prepare our airport to support a commercial flight service," Mr Devanny said.
"We are keen to continue this good work and redevelop the terminal building further, though this is subject to federal and state funding."
The first inbound and outbound Bendigo-Sydney QantasLink flights took off in late March, with the airline operating flights six days a week with its 50-seat Q300 turboprop.
A Qantas spokesperson said on average, 85 per cent of flights had been full during its Sunday and Monday services, with figures quoted in May.
"These flights are a real time-saver and offer great connectivity from our flights into Sydney, making Bendigo far more accessible for our domestic and international customers," the Qantas spokesperson said.
An additional Saturday evening flight from Sydney to Bendigo and another flight on Sunday morning from Bendigo to Sydney was added in mid August, scheduled in response to a strong uptake of the service.
QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the new flights offered people more choice.
"We're pleased to see the local community really support the launch of the new route," Mr Gissing said.
The additional flights mean an extra 100 seats are available on the route every week, compared to when it was launched.
The Labor Party pledged to invest $4.4 million to fund the expansion of the Bendigo Airport terminal in April, ahead of the federal election.
The expanded terminal would help Bendigo provide larger services and improve customer experience.
The federal government is yet to announce a funding commitment for the proposal.
A spokesperson from the City of Greater Bendigo said they will be apply for funding for the terminal upgrade from the Building Better Regions Fund, which is now open.