The Western Australian Government has allocated nearly $3 million in Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) grants to 25 projects across the state.

Upgrades to regional airports include resealing of runways, upgrading airstrip lighting, airport development planning, installation of animal exclusion fencing, and improving operational safety and facilities for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) operations. 

Balgo Hill Airport in the Kimberley received the largest grant of over $427,000, which will contribute to upgrading the runway and replacing runway lighting, enabling safer night landings.

The remote airstrip is important for medical evacuations, with 459 RFDS landings occurring in the last five years.

Other projects funded through this round of grants include $355,718 for Carnarvon Airport, $376,000 to Wiluna Airport and $290,000 for the Mantamaru (Jameson) Community Airstrip in the Goldfields.

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “This round of RADS grants focus on labour-intensive infrastructure projects that can be completed by the end of 2021, to help stimulate regional economies, boost local job opportunities and assist the aviation sector on the road to recovery.

“The Goldfields-Esperance region received the largest sum of over $634,000 to be shared by six airports for projects ranging from improving runway surfaces, installing solar airstrip lighting and upgrading security; to installing fencing to keep animals off the runway.

“In this RADS round, eight grants totalling nearly $1 million will deliver improved airport facilities for remote Aboriginal communities, with aviation access critical to the health and wellbeing of these remote residents.”

Since 2008, 309 regional airport projects have been granted more than $44 million in Department of Transport RADS funding, helping transform regional airports across Western Australia. 

The funding contribution for this round of RADS grants was increased to up to 75 per cent of the project cost for works that can be completed by 31 December 2021 and can demonstrate employment of locals – helping stimulate economic recovery in the state.

“The 2021-23 RADS grants will help boost safety, amenities and security at these regional and remote airports, improving access to health services, community connections and business,” Ms Saffioti said.

The 25 grants and recipient airports are below:

Gascoyne region

Carnarvon Airport Apron lighting upgrade, correction of Runway 04/22 end safety area slopes, edge strip and drainage works and airside fencing and stock boundary fencing of the outer airport $355,718
Coral Bay Airstrip Further improvement of airstrip pavement lift, vertical alignment and a resheet as well as a new windsock tower $220,250
Burringurrah Aboriginal Community Airport Lift and bitumen seal the airstrip including drainage improvements, upgrade solar lighting and windsock $16,250

 

Goldfields-Esperance 

Ilkurlka Airstrip Replace windsock, improve runway surface, runway strip and flyover area $8,504
Tjuntjuntjara Community Aerodrome Improve runway surface, improve runway strip, flyover area and firebreaks, replace windsock, airstrip lights and batteries $23,302
Mantamaru (Jameson) Community Airstrip Resheet the runway $290,000
Ravensthorpe Airport Undertake a CASA compliant Ravensthorpe Airport Wildlife Management Plan $4,018
Ravensthorpe Airport Electrical upgrades to  include annual Electrical Technical Inspection, replacement of 110 runway lights housing and lamps, installation of CCTV $30,810
Giles Airstrip (Warakurna) Fencing, improvement to unique arrivals/departures area, lighting, carpark upgrade and signage, plane parking and overall safety upgrade $30,000
Leonora Aerodrome Secure airport perimeter with security fencing, comprising of 2.1m high chain link and 14 line ringlock with top and bottom bar $248,027

 

Great Southern 

Katanning Airport Replace boundary fencing, line marking on sealed runway, replace lighting at windsocks, install a concrete hardstand (water tank) and a shade shelter $ 3,500
Denmark Airport Install a 2m vermin exclusion fence including gates, to create total enclosure of the active airport activities $73,650

 

Kimberely 

Balgo Hill Airport Resheet the existing runway pavement and replace runway lights with LED fittings $427,058
Warmun Aerodrome Warmun Aerodrome usability and future improvement requirement study $49,290
Mulan Aerodrome Replace the existing runway and taxiway lights with LED fittings $155,000

 

Mid-West 

Morawa Aerodrome Sealing of airstrip apron $84,000
Eneabba Airport Refurbishment of the ageing runway surface and replacement of the failing runway lighting system $116,946
Wiluna Airport Upgrade of the existing runway $376,000

 

Pilbara 

Marble Bar Airstrip Engage a consultant to develop a Master Plan for the future of Marble Bar Aerodrome $35,785
Newman Airport Development of an Aviation Strategy for East Pilbara Airports (including Newman Airport, Marble Bar Airstrip and Nullagine Airstrip) $40,000

 

South-West

Busselton Margaret River Airport Install airside perimeter fencing to general aviation hangar precinct $17,426

 

Wheatbelt

Narrogin Regional Airport Construct an asphalt apron for RFDS $52,166
Bruce Rock Airfield Re-asphalt the taxiway and apron, install a hardstand and patient transfer path and install lighting in the ambulance shed $113,699
Varley Airstrip Construction of Varley Airstrip – treat landing strip with Polycom, renew runway markers and extend concrete parking area for planes $79,206
Lake Grace Airport Improve airport lighting $61,500
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