The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has approved finance for a $300 million expansion of Darwin, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs airports, creating 1,500 jobs and supporting local industry.

The project is set to benefit from a $150 million loan from the NAIF, which will help Northern Territory Airports upgrade storage and energy infrastructure at a number of airports. The upgrades include:

  • Construction of cold storage and an export hub at Darwin International Airport (DIA)
  • Construction of solar energy farms at DIA, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek airports and an off-site multi-user battery to be located 80km from Darwin
  • Resurfacing of Alice Springs airport’s runway, taxiways and apron and installation of new runway lighting

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matthew Canavan, said the project would spark new job and economic opportunities across the NT.

“This project will deliver jobs and that is exactly what the NT needs right now. The Government’s Developing Northern Australia agenda is all about creating jobs and economic opportunity and these investments will do that in spades,” Mr Canavan said.

“These investments will increase the operational capacity of each airport and that will increase economic opportunities for each community.

“The projects will create jobs, drive new export opportunities into Asian markets, boost the NT’s tourism potential and support energy security for businesses and residents in the north.

“Up to 1,000 jobs are expected to be generated through the construction phase. In turn, those positions will support around 500 indirect jobs through the supply chain, and create more than 140 new ongoing positions.”

NAIF CEO, Laurie Walker, said the project would be NAIF’s largest investment to date.

“We are very pleased to promote the significant public benefit that will be delivered for the Northern Territory through this project.”

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s approval is conditional on the conclusion of various management plans and additional consultation with stakeholders. The NAIF looks forward to working with the Northern Territory Airports Ltd to meet these conditions in the coming months.

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