Newcastle City Council and Port Stephens Council, joint owners of Newcastle Airport, have granted approval for the purchase of a significant parcel of land adjacent to the airport as part of of the Newcastle Airport 20-year Master Plan.

The proposition to purchase the land is a key part  of the proposed development of a business technology precinct alongside the airport.

The land is essential to secure the future air transport needs of the Greater Hunter region, and ensures that Newcastle Airport will be the airport the region deserves for generations to come. The purchase also opens opportunities to capitalise on the core strengths of the region in terms of defence aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

The new precinct will serve as a focal point for sustainment of the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, and will provide the ability locally to sustain other platforms. It will also include an innovation hub for new defence and aerospace-related research, manufacturing and businesses in the region, which continue to cluster around the airport, as well as non-aviation related industries such as education, technology, mining and tourism operations.

Port Stephens Mayor, Ryan Palmer, said the Council resolution is a significant and exciting proposition.

“The decision is about the bigger picture for the airport and the Hunter. This expansion could potentially allow for the growth of our region as a truly world-class tourism destination and business hub,” Mr Palmer said.

“Critically, expansion of the airport could potentially mean more local jobs and improved facilities for members of our community that use the Newcastle Airport each day.”

Newcastle City Council Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said,  “As one of the region’s most important infrastructure hubs, the additional land will create a new biz-tech precinct that aligns with Newcastle City Council’s Smart City Strategy to transform the greater Newcastle economy and create jobs of the future.

“Together with government partners and the University of Newcastle, we are charging ahead into the digital age, rolling out critical tech infrastructure to achieve data-based productivity gains for business and industry, and deliver digital-based conveniences for residents, workers and visitors.”

Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock, said a successful airport is vital to a bright future for the region and community in which it serves.

“This proposal to purchase will protect future aviation growth opportunities and takes us another step closer to the realisation of our Master Plan, which includes the creation of a world-leading commercial and innovation hub,” Dr Cock said.

“The precinct will allow enhanced linkages to support economic growth, strategic trade, business, education and smart jobs for future generations. Whilst the purchase of the land is still in front of us, we hope to have shovels in the ground by the end of the year.”

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