Townsville Airport will accept international flights from March 1, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced.
Mr Abbott, who faces a leadership spill on Tuesday, said he was determined to get on with government as he made the announcement in Townsville with his deputy Julie Bishop by his side.
“From the first of March international flights will be able to land here because the services to deal with their passengers will be available,” Mr Abbott told reporters.
He said the announcement showed the north of Australia was open for business.
“We will be open for business here at Townsville Airport for international flights and we certainly are going to help to make Townsville another gateway to Australia.
“This is very good news for Townsville.”
Nationals Leader Warren Truss said the government had not yet received any formal applications from airlines to operate international services into Townsville.
But he was confident boosting essential support services at the airport would “certainly attract the attention of airlines”.
“We have had positive responses from a couple of likely operators,” Mr Truss said.