Aerial of Broome Airport runway

The 2023–2025 round of Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) grants is now open, with $3.5 million up for grabs for regional and remote airports in Western Australia.

Regional airports and airstrip owners can apply for up to 50 per cent funding for projects including runway re-sealing, fencing, patient transfer facilities, solar runway lighting, strategic planning, and other infrastructure renewals.

The RADS grants provide funding to recipients to upgrade and improve infrastructure, planning and safety at regional and remote airports, along with enhancing connections and access to air services for regional Western Australia.

Western Australia Minister for Transport, the Hon Rita Saffioti, said the RADS grants are just one way the government can enhance connection and access to regional and remote Western Australians. 

“Our Government understands the importance of air travel for remote and regional communities, which is why we continue to invest in programs that improve airport infrastructure, and make flying cheaper – such as our capped airfares scheme,” Ms Saffioti said.

The recently implemented capped airfares project added direct flights between Derby and Broome and committed $4 million in funding to expand the Inter-Regional Flight Network to include Geraldton, improving access and better connecting regional residents

The most recent RADS grants have supported airport improvements at 24 regional and remote airports, including in remote Aboriginal communities such as Balgo Hill, Mulan and Manatamaru.

“Airports are the gateways to many regional towns and cities, and are often the only way in and out of remote areas, and Aboriginal communities in the wet season,” Ms Saffioti said. 

“In the last ten years, 21 Aboriginal communities have received over $2.5 million in funding to upgrade facilities and infrastructure, helping reduce isolation and improve connection.”

To date, the more than $41 million in RADS funding has assisted 300 regional airport projects across Western Australia, helping improve safety, renew facilities and better plan and manage regional airports. 

Applications for the RADS grants close 23 September 2022. 

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