The Federal Government is investing $41.2 million in 60 regional airports to assist the aviation industry through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the Regional Airports Program would assist the owners of regional airports to undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for regional Australians. 

“For our regional communities, the local airport is an essential link to the rest of Australia,” Mr McCormack said. 

“The Government is investing in regional airports because we know this infrastructure is key to securing our regional aviation network now and into the post-COVID future. 

“We are investing $100 million over four years from 2019-20 to 2022-23 to help owners of regional airports right across Australia deliver safer runways, taxiways and other safety upgrades such as new fencing and safety equipment.” 

The Federal Government will work with successful recipients and communities under this round to deliver the funding needed to help support regional Australia’s post-pandemic recovery. 

The Australian Airports Association (AAA) Chief Executive Officer, James Goodwin, said, “This is good news for airports and a major boost for many regional communities.

“The funding will assist airports with significant maintenance projects such as runway and taxiway upgrades and improved safety measures.

“Airports can be the backbone of the economy in many regional centres. This funding will provide a significant boost to airports to renew their infrastructure after the high operational tempo of the Bushfire Summer and from hibernation during the COVID-19 downturn.

“The infrastructure projects will also enable these airports to be better placed to contribute to regional tourism when travel returns to normal,” he said.

This funding is in addition to the Federal Government’s total package of support for Australia’s aviation industry of more than $1.2 billion. 

For more information on the Regional Airports Program, click here.

The projects funded are:

  1. Ballarat City Council $5,000,000: Ballarat Airport Runway Upgrade Stage One: the project will provide ongoing access for emergency, RPT and freight airservices
  2. Bega Valley Shire Council 4,500,000: Merimbula Regional Airport Runway Upgrade: overlay existing runway, extend existing runway to better support current services, improve GA infrastructure including taxiways re-positioning GA away from secure areas.
  3. Port Macquarie Hastings Council $3,538,260: Port Macquarie Airport – Parallel Taxiway – Stage 1: The airport provides for RPT, GA and a base for emergency services to operate.  The project will construct a taxiway parallel to the runway, something which CASA has been recommending for several years. Apron and existing taxiways will be resurfaced for all operators including aeromedical and essential services operators.
  4. Upper Hunter Shire Council $3,000,000: Scone Regional Airport Upgrade – Airside Infrastructure Component: The overall viability of the aerodrome hinges on immediate completion of runway reconstruction and resealing and taxiway and apron extensions and upgrades to continue to cater for GA, RFSD and other emergency services operators. Without major safety upgrades to it, the airport  infrastructure will lose its certified airport status and revert to recreational use. The airport is frequently used for all Upper Hunter emergency services air operations.
  5. Edward River Council $2,500,000: Deniliquin Regional Airport Runway Strengthening and lengthening.
  6. Corporation Of The City Of Whyalla $2,455,000: Air side apron, taxiway and runway improvements:  Main runway extensions, new taxiway and apron extensions to separate GA, RPT and RFSD aircraft movements. Cross runway sealing will improve all weather access and safer entry and egress for GA and RPT and RFDS aircraft. Cross runway all weather sealing will provide a much needed alternative for RFDS and reduce aircraft damage from loose gravel.
  7. City Of Albany $1,666,000: Albany Regional Airport Upgrade: resurfacing of runway, taxiway and apron.
  8. Alpine Shire Council $1,555,910: Mount Beauty Airport Upgrade.  Proposed works (lengthen and widen runway, lights, drainage and helicopter apron) essential for ongoing provision of emergency services on a 24/7 basis.
  9. Tamworth Regional Council $1,375,000: Tamworth Regional Council – airside LED lighting and Charter apron upgrade: lighting upgrades essential to meet CASA requirements. Apron upgrades will improve safety and accessibility for GA operators and passengers.
  10. Armidale Regional Council $1,227,000: Armidale Regional Airport – Improved Aircraft Ground Movement Management: stormwater drain issues impacting plane movement areas; provision of a break-down area on RPT apron; installation of a re-fuelling apron; taxi lane for movement of GA aircraft from hangar to taxiway; installation of an all-weather access from GA area to gate for re-fuelling trucks to prevent rutting of grassed GA area; installation of apron floodlighting.
  11. Swan Hill Rural City Council $1,223,412: Swan Hill Regional Aerodrome upgrade: the proposed works are essential to allow the aerodrome to cater for larger aircraft being / going to be used by emergency services.
  12. Glenelg Shire Council $991,973: Portland Airport – Runway Re-sealing: Resealing of the runway, taxi, apron and hangar asphalted areas will improve overall safety for GA, air ambulance and other fixed wing emergency aircraft use. The funding will ensure safe emergency services access in all weather conditions.
  13. The Trustee For Leongatha Aerodrome Users Unit Trust $975,950: Leongatha Aerodrome Airside Upgrade: Main runway is 50 years old requiring a reseal and the cross runway is gravel and requires reconstruction to a full seal. These works will provide all weather access and improved safety. Aerodrome used for GA, training, agricultural aircraft, firefighting and air ambulance. The aerodrome serves a large population in a highly productive agricultural region. 
  14. Gladstone Airport Corporation $876,121: GAC-P003 – Northern Apron Overlay: The proposed resealing and redesign of Gladstone Airport’s northern apron will allow a greater range of aeromedical and emergency services aircraft to access the airport, especially during emergency periods. 
  15. Yorke Peninsula Council $825,000: Minlaton Airstrip Upgrade: Upgrading Minlaton Airstrip from a gravel runway to a sealed bitumen runway (along with associated line markings and other infrastructure) will improve the safety for landing aircraft used by the RFDS and other aeromedical/emergency services operators.
  16. Gladstone Airport Corporation $722,372: GAC-P001 – Drainage: The proposed flood mitigation works will improve the airport’s workability and enhance user safety. 
  17. Glenample Air Pty Ltd $700,000: Great Ocean Road Airport (Peterborough, Vic) Upgrade: The proposed works will bring the airport up to a Code 2, although no evidence has been provided for why the airport needs to operate at Code 2. 
  18. Bathurst Regional Council $500,000: Bathurst Aerodrome Taxiway Modifications: The proposed program of works include construction of a new taxiway, flood management works and taxiway lighting. These will enhance the aerodrome’s safety and workability. 
  19. Narrandera Shire Council $475,000: Narrandera – leeton airport runway, taxiway & apron resealing: Resealing of runway, taxiway and parking areas was mandated by CASA and the aerodrome technical inspection.
  20. Greater Bendigo City Council $465,000: RPT apron expansion and strengthening and run-up area development: Expanding the RPT apron and strengthening the run-up bay will allow for separation of larger and smaller aircraft using the airport, increasing safety.
  21. Greater Shepparton City Council $452,000: Shepparton Aerodrome Safety Upgrade: The proposed works (the restoration of the northern taxiway; building of a new, larger taxiway to accommodate modern aeromedical and emergency services operations; and the hard standing of the helipad) are supported by the airport’s aeromedical and other emergency services operators and would resolve an outstanding safety observation made by CASA regarding the northern taxiway.
  22. Narromine Shire Council $419,750: Narromine Regional Airports Program ID CP3: Eligible works include the installation of PAL on taxiway, holding point and apron edge, installation of a SIWI and fencing works.
  23. Kempsey Shire Council $327,928: Kempsey Airport Safety Improvements Project: To repair extensive cracking and pavement failure to GA apron along with minor widening and pavement repair of taxiway.  As a regional base for the RFS, the recent bushfire season made the Kempsey airport strategically important. Evidence, in terms of flight movements, was provided.  The development of the Kempsey Hospital has seen an increase in the number of aeromedical flights at the airport. The scope of works will allow for these increased services to continue into the longer term.
  24. Southern Downs Regional Council $319,035: Southern Downs Regional Aerodromes Development:  The aerodromes (Warwick and Stanthorpe) provide bases for emergency services to operate effectively outside of major urban centres. A failure of the airstrip pavements could provide risks in operating aeromedical and firefighting capabilities along with commercial operations. Aerodromes are used as RFDS pilot training facilities and to support aeromedical services to the broader region.
  25. Mid-western Regional Council $308,220: Mudgee Airport Runway Upgrades: Evidence is provided of runway surface failure, the repair of which will provide overall safety improvements.
  26. Northern Grampians Shire Council $300,000: Stawell Airport Redevelopment – Stage 5B & 5C: Aerodrome fencing, taxiway works, related smaller safety works. The funding will ensure safe emergency services access in all weather conditions.
  27. Narrabri Shire Council $299,392: Narrabri Airport Apron Upgrades: The apron works are proposed to improve RFDS/RFs and NPWS safe access to aircraft services.
  28. District Council Of Franklin Harbour $291,739: Cowell Aerodrome Runway Sealing Upgrade: Main airstrip sealing works are proposed to improve all weather access – for in particular RFDS-and to reduce aircraft damage from the loose gravel surface and improve 24/7 access.
  29. Shire Of Towong $262,000: Corryong Airport Self-serve 24-hour Aviation Fuel Facility:  provision of 24 hour self-service fuel will assist medical and firefighting air services in the area. 
  30. Whitsunday Regional Council $250,000: Bowen Aerodrome Project: resurfacing of the runway to meet CASA requirements and the repair of turning nodes and cracks. Essential for the continued safe operation of the aerodrome.
  31. Dubbo Regional Council $250,000: Dubbo Airport General Aviation Heavy Patching and Reseal: works are proposed to strengthen GA used areas of the airport which will improve safety and workability.
  32. Hay Shire Council $237,176: Hay Aerodrome Upgrade: the resheeting of the runway, provision of gable markers, cones and windsocks and the purchase of a FOD sweeper are required to meet CASA MOS 139 requirements.
  33. Narrandera Shire Council $218,775: Narrandera leeton airport airside perimeter fencing:  the provision of fencing to reduce wildlife intrusions is essential to allow for continued RPT and emergency flight access.
  34. Gunnedah Airport Upgrade $198,000: the funding of perimeter fencing, runway lighting system and line marking as considered essential to the safe operation of the airport; CCTV and terminal fencing.
  35. Aero Line Pty Ltd $188,000: White Gum Airfield Improvements: upgrades to runway and airside facilities are essential for the ongoing safe operation of the airfield.
  36. Mount Hotham Skiing Company Pty Ltd $164,350: Resurface of the Mount Hotham Runway: resurfacing of runway and new line marking to continue to meet CASA requirements and continue to provide access by police, CFA and air ambulance.
  37. Snowy Valleys Council $152,984: Tumut Aerodrome Infrastructure Upgrade – Stage 1
  38. Berrigan Shire Council $150,000: Tocumwal Aerodrome – Erect Security/Wildlife Exclusion Fencing: replacement of fencing to that of a standard to keep wildlife from the airfield is essential to meet CASA requirement.
  39. Moira Shire Council $137,500: Yarrawonga Aerodrome Runway Lighting Compliance Project: Upgrades to the landing lights so that they are compliant with current CASA requirements.
  40. Gladstone Airport Corporation $136,750: GAC-P002 – RWY & TWY Rejuvenation: The rejuvenation will improve the moderate erosion, minor reflective cracking and rubber build up on site. 2. In 2012 airport was substantially upgraded to accommodate larger aircrafts.
  41. Inverell Shire Council $136,634: Enhancing Inverell Aerodrome Safety with Navigational Aids:  Improve safety of aircraft, operators and passengers, facilitate delivery of essential goods and services and aid their operational requirements. 
  42. District Council Of Loxton Waikerie $132,266: Loxton and Waikerie Airstrip Safety Project: Provides safe and all weather access by essential services like RFDS and other operators. 
  43. East Gippsland Shire Council $118,468: Upgrade of airfield ground lighting at Orbost Airport: Increase visibility, making clear and bright lighting for firefighters, emergency services, and essential aeromedical services. Conforms to the new Manual of Standards.
  44. Colac Otway Shire $112,500: Colac Municipal Aerodrome Upgrade: The proposed new taxiways will expand the airport’s parking facilities, allowing emergency services aircraft more space to park. Currently, these aircraft are forced to park on the airport’s grass runway, which prevents its use as an alternate landing/take-off runway during the fire season.
  45. Mike Gribble Pty. Ltd. $110,000: Improved functionality of Benambra Airstrip: The proposed sealing of the existing runway (in asphalt, rather than the current gravel runway) will greatly reduce wear-and-tear on the airstrip, which is used by several emergency services providers.
  46. Horsham Rural City Council $105,591: Horsham Aerodrome airside safety works: The project is to provide an apron lighting upgrade required by a CASA safety finding. This upgrade will allow for the 24/7 use of the airport, including by aeromedical and other emergency services. 
  47. Copper Coast Council $104,000: Copper Coast Aerodrome (located between the towns of Kadina, Wallaroo and Moonta, SA) critical infrastructure improvements: The project is to reseal general taxiways, aircraft parking and the aerodrome’s emergency services section, as well as carrying out other flood mitigation works.
  48. District Council Of Grant $85,140: Mount Gambier Regional Airport Security Fencing Project: Works are essential animal fencing.
  49. Gilgandra Council $83,159: Gilgandra Aerodrome Runway Lighting Upgrade: The lighting works are essential to keeping the airport operational at night.  The works will reduce maintenance costs of the existing lighting.
  50. Inverell Shire Council $81,048: Improving Safety with Exclusion Fencing at Inverell Airport: he project is to fence off the Inverell Aerodrome, protecting aeromedical operators and other airport users from the risk of wildlife strike. 
  51. City Of Greater Geraldton $70,000: Runway 08/26 Surface Renewal: Proposed works seek to remediate the wear-and-tear on the secondary east-west runway, to provide safety benefit for its users (primarily GA operators, although the applicant asserts RFDS sometimes uses the runway).
  52. Central Goldfields Shire Council $68,585: Maryborough Aerodrome fencing construction works: The project is to fence off the Maryborough Aerodrome, protecting aeromedical operators and other airport users from the risk of wildlife strike.
  53. Narrandera Shire Council $60,000: Narrandera leeton airport apron flood lighting: The project is to provide an apron lighting upgrade required by a CASA safety observation. This upgrade will allow for the 24/7 use of the airport, including by aeromedical and other emergency services.
  54. The Flinders Ranges Council $56,750: Quorn Aerodrome Upgrade: prevention of wildlife entering the airfield and installing an illuminated windsock, for the 24/7 safe operation of the airfield.
  55. District Council Of Orroroo Carrieton $55,055: Upgrade of Orroroo Airstrip: fencing and lighting works.
  56. Shire Of Dandaragan $39,950: Jurien Bay Airfield Taxiway: a new taxiway is proposed to increase safety, capacity and functionality at the airfield.
  57. Shire Of Quairading $38,484: Expansion of the Quairading Airfield Apron: proposed works will improve accessibility and safety for patients of emergency services.
  58. Shire Of Manjimup $38,000: Manjimup Aerodrome – RESA Earthworks: gradient works to RESA are required to meet CASA MOS139 requirements.
  59. Wellington Shire Council $37,500: Yarram Aerodrome Apron Precinct and Safety Upgrades: proposed new helipad, fencing and generator will increase access for emergency services and make aerodrome safer.
  60. Parkes Shire Council $27,869: Village Airstrip Remediation Program – Parkes Shire Council (Peak Hill, Trundle, Tullamore): update to airstrips (gables and windsocks) are required to meet CASA requirements.
  61. Jamestown Flying Group Incorporated $20,500: Jamestown Aerodrome CFS Water Bombing Access Upgrade: Sealing of the taxiing and refuelling areas of the aerodrome will improve the efficiency and safety for firefighting aircraft.
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