The Federal Government has approved projects totaling $41 million in the first round of the Regional Airports Program (RAP).
The RAP is a $100 million program announced last year to upgrade Australia's regional airport infrastructure, with both private and public airports benefiting from the funding.
Ballarat in Victoria and Merimbula in NSW are the biggest winners from Round 1, with Ballarat granted $5 million to lengthen and strengthen the runways and Merimbula to get $4.5 million to overlay and extend the existing runway and improve the infrastructure including taxiways.
"For our regional communities, the local airport is an essential link to the rest of Australia,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrstructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael 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.”
Other approved projects include:
- $3.5 million for taxiway works at Port Macquarie, NSW
- $3.0 million to recontruct the runway at Scone, NSW
- $2.4 million for runway and taxiway works at Whyalla, SA
- $1.7 million for a range of work at Gladstone, QLD
- $1.6 million for re-surfacing works at Albany Airport, WA
- $1.5 million for a range of work at Mount Beauty, Vic
- $1.3 million for lighting and apron upgrades at Tamworth, NSW
- $1.2 million for a range of work at Armidale, NSW.
Smaller projects were also approved at airports such as Leongatha, Narromine, Quorn, Loxton, Tumut, Jurien Bay, Mount Gambier, Benambra and Geraldton.
The full list of approved projects and scope of works is available on the Department of Infrastructure website.