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Thursday, 12 March  2009  Old Airport

In Adelaide, South Australia, a new airport was recently opened. It took a long time, and there were lots of delays, so when the new airport finally opened, everyone seemed very happy.

PAT EMMETT: They say never speak ill of the dead so after years of bitching and bile, it is only fair that tonight we pay tribute to the tarmac that paid tribute to the State's most memorable moments. Never again will we be able to see visiting celebrities strut their stuff on the bitumen stage. Never again will we be able to secure a royal audience. And never again will we be able to walk on the ground touched by Pope John Paul II or any other Pope for that matter. Are you sad to see the old airport go or anything like that?


MALE: We used to walk across the tarmac, that's great, won't be sorry to see the back of the revolving door.

PAT EMMETT: You won't get your shoes bronzed or anything because they are the last shoes to touch the tarmac?

FEMALE: No, I don't think so.

PAT EMMETT: You didn't get all teary coming across the tarmac?

MALE: Absolutely not. Lucky it's not raining, isn't it.

PAT EMMETT: As the last passengers filed into the increasingly forlorn terminal last night, waiting for her son was Janet Ayliffe who can remember the state of the art building opening almost half a century ago.

It was a time when people's front doors and cockpit doors were left unlocked when Janet and her brothers were allowed to ride with the pilot.

JANET AYLIFFE: We just loved it and we would lean out the window and wave to our grandmother and it was very friendly and there was no worry about it being dangerous or except I think we were told not to lean on certain levers so...

PAT EMMETT: Determined to avoid any more hitches, airport manager Phil Baker kept a close eye on final preparations in the new terminal as the old one received its final rights.

FEMALE: How is everyone this morning? Good, excellent. Thanks for your patience this morning.

PAT EMMETT: And when the new terminal finally opened its doors this morning, Gabby the queue comber was hard at work.

What's queue combing?

FEMALE: Basically just that. So just assisting guests, just making sure they have got their bags clearly labelled.

PAT EMMETT: What do you think of the new airport?

FEMALE: I love it, it is fantastic. A long time coming but it was worth the wait, absolutely.

PAT EMMETT: And finally, after 50 years the wait was over and so was the walk in the elements. There are a few stragglers, then the door was shut. A few last minute checks from the pilot, and all that was left was the cheering.
But it is not all beer and skittles yet, the entrance to the terminal and parking seems to be confusing some. Then there is the running dispute over walking . Regional airline Rex along with regional mayors and passengers have complained about the distances they have to walk. Phil Baker says he is listening but he also points out that compared to Brisbane airport, Adelaide isn't that unusual.

PHIL BAKER (ADELAIDE AIRPORT LTD): You have chosen a very good example for myself because I think it is similar and it would be marginal, if any difference, in walking distances. But that doesn't cut any ice with people who have come from country cities here who are not used to walking. They have got a new terminal and they don't realise that means aircraft have to be remote. Sure there are things we can do. We are certainly looking at a bussing option for the arrival service.

PAT EMMETT: Phil Baker expects the terminal to have a life of 50 years during which time it is expected to be extended upwards and outwards.

PHIL BAKER: Probably the first one we will do, bearing in mind the way the traffic is moving, is probably a multi decking to the car park outside.

PAT EMMETT: For the moment though the travelling public seems happy to do enjoy the terminal just as it is.

FEMALE: It is great. A bit of a distance to walk, but you get used to it.

FEMALE: Much better facilities, very good.

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English Bites - Old Airport
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pay tribute
To pay tribute to something or someone is to show your respect and admiration.

Example: The war memorial pays tribute to the men who died in battle.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Here paid is the past tense of the irregular verb pay. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: pay

strut their stuff
To strut your stuff is to proudly show off your ability at performing.

Example: The crowd enjoyed the Rolling Stones strutting their stuff.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Forlorn means abandoned, empty and alone.

A terminal is an airport building.

state of the art
State of the art means using all the latest technology. When this airport opened nearly 50 years ago, it was very modern and used all the best technology.

half a century ago
50 years ago

kept a close eye on
To keep a close eye on something is to watch it carefully.

Example: Keep a close eye on the cake or it will burn.
Here kept is the past tense of the irregular verb keep. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: keep

queue combing
A queue is a line of people. And combing here means going through carefully. She goes along through the lines of people waiting to check their bags in. And she helps them with anything they need.

not all beer and skittles
not all pleasure; not just fun

Example: Life's not all beer and skittles.

Chosen is the past participle of the irregular verb choose. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: choose

cut any ice
To cut any ice is to impress or influence someone

Example: Street marches don't cut any ice with this government.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

have a life of
last for

made bigger

bear in mind
don't forget about; keep in mind

Example: You should bear in mind that the traffic will be heavy at the time you want to get to the airport.

Facilities are the buildings, equipment and services that a place has.

What does the suffix -wards mean?

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