The Federal Government recently announced that it has opened the fifth and final round of funding under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program (RAU).
RAU is a part of the Regional Aviation Access Program, which aims to enhance accessibility to communities by making grants available for airports in locations rated as remote or very remote.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said airstrips in remote areas were crucial pieces of community infrastructure.
“For many communities, air services are essential for providing mail, supplies, transport and medical services,” he said. "Improving the safety and capacity of airstrips provides major benefits to the thousands of Australians who would otherwise have to use slower or less reliable transport options.
“I would urge the owners and operators of any remote community airstrip who can identify a real need for an upgrade to make an application under Round Five."
The 2015–16 federal budget allocated $33.7 million over four years to fund five rounds of grants to improve safety and security at remote airports.
In Round Four of the RAU, the Government funded 91 upgrade projects around Australia, including:
- $1.5 million for the reconstruction of the Bathurst Island aerodrome in the NT
- $266,275 for resealing the runway, taxiway and other surfaces at Ravensthorpe, WA
- $63,636 to re-seal the runway and new lighting at Menindee, NSW
- $42,500 for an RNAV and lights at Hillston, NSW
- $40,000 each for RNAVs at Baradine, Collarenebri, Ivanhoe, Louth, Tottenham, Wanaaring, White Cliffs and Wilcannia
- $132,967 to upgrade the lights at Thargomindah, QLD.
Applications for Round Five are open until 20 October 2017. Applications must follow strict guidelines to be successful, and only submissions from airports in areas designated as Remote or Very Remote will be considered.
More information on Round Five of the RAU is available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website.