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The Canberrans: Stephen Byron

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Chief Executive of Canberra Airport Stephen Byron has watched his normally bustling terminals empty of people as travel all but froze under COVID this year.

But he’s been a man on a mission, working ceaselessly to ensure the airport can fill again as soon as restrictions ease.

Stephen and his dad, Terry Snow, have transformed the once tin-shed airport in the middle of a sheep paddock into a cosmopolitan “face” for the national capital by investing billions into the airport itself and surrounding precinct.

Watching it suffer a 97 per cent reduction in trade has been a bruising experience.

But in an emotional episode of The Canberrans—a collaboration between Newcast Studios, Lonsdale Street Studio, Salon Canberra and HerCanberra—Stephen admits that the human cost has been the hardest part to witness.

“It’s not about the economics, I mean economics is nothing, business revenue by itself is nothing…it’s meaningless. It’s about the people who are at home with very limited futures,” he said.

He is hoping for a speedy recovery as borders continue to open up and “pent-up demand” for a break away reignites flight demand.

A proud Canberran, Stephen is also hopeful that tourists will look to Canberra itself as a safe and diverse destination while overseas travel remains off-limits.

Hear him speak of what makes our city so desirable, and how long it is going to take before our skies become busy again.


And for podcast lovers keen for the extended chat on all things Stephen Byron, you can go here.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up on our episode with Nik Bulum, you can go here.

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