The Coalition government has promised to spend up to $100 million on upgrading regional airports, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack announced on Friday.
The funding announcement came in the lead-up to the 2019-20 Federal Budget and the Federal Election.
“No matter where you live, we want to connect country and coastal communities and get people home sooner and safer,” McCormack said.
“So the Liberals and Nationals are investing in safer regional runways, taxiways and projects such as better fencing to boost safety even further.
“By boosting regional airport investment by up to $100 million, we are making sure regional people and their communities get the infrastructure and services they deserve for business, leisure, health and education needs.”
According to McCormack, the department will work with regional communities to determine where the money can be best spent.
Caroline Wilkie, CEO of the Australian Airports Association, has welcomed the grant program, saying it would assist with a funding shortfall predicted for most of Australia's regional airports.
“The AAA report into regional airports in 2016 found airports provide essential links for communities but that many operate at a loss and have reduced capacity for essential capital works,” Wilkie said.
“This funding will start to address this funding shortfall and assist this essential infrastructure to continue servicing communities into the future.”
Applications for grants are expected to open after the Federal Election, with funds available after 1 July 2019.