The 2021-2023 round of Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) grants has been brought forward, with over $3.1 million available for regional and remote airports across Western Australia.
The WA Government has invited all eligible airports to apply for the grant round, which will focus on economic recovery stimulus initiatives and programs in response to COVID-19.
The grant round, which has been brought forward, will focus on labour-intensive infrastructure projects that can be completed by the end of 2021, to help stimulate job creation and facilitate recovery of the State’s economy.
The RADS grant contribution has also increased to 75 per cent of the eligible project cost for airport owners that can complete their project by December 31, 2021 and can demonstrate employment of local workers.
If these criteria cannot be met and demonstrated at the completion of the project, the RADS grant contribution will be reduced to 50 per cent funding for the project.
RADS grants, funded through the WA Department of Transport, provide funding to increase planning, safety, capacity and security at regional and remote WA airports to improve access for health, community and business.
Previous projects funded through the grant program include runway widening and resealing, solar runway lighting, construction of a helicopter landing site, security upgrades and patient transfer facilities.
A total of 14 RADS projects, with a combined grant value of almost $1.2 million, were completed throughout 2019-20, meaning some of our state’s most remote airstrips that rely on air services for medical and essential supplies were able to improve amenities, improve safety and upgrade capacity.
Since 2008, 282 regional airport projects have been granted almost $42 million in RADS funding, helping transform regional airports across WA.
WA Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said the funding was expedited to assist the sector deal with significant economic impact wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation and tourism sector.
“This round of funding has been brought forward to help identify RADS projects that can be delivered by December 31, 2021, to help stimulate regional economies, boost local job opportunities and help get these airports ready for the recovery of the aviation sector,” Ms Saffioti said.
“We are working with airlines, local communities, tourism operators and the Commonwealth Government to build air services beyond the minimum service levels, with a focus on the economic and social needs of the community.”
The 2021-23 round of Regional Airports Development Scheme grants are open for applications from 6 July 2020 and will close on August 7, 2020.
Guidelines for the grant round and the application portal may be found here.