Four airports in the New England will receive a share of $41.2 million under the Australian Government’s Regional Airports Program.
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the funding included $5.8 million in upgrades for Scone, Tamworth, Armidale and Inverell airports.
“Air travel has taken a back seat during this COVID-19 pandemic but make no mistake, regional travellers will return and they are already,” Mr Joyce said.
“That’s why we need critical infrastructure like this to support tourism in the New England as well as our emerging freight markets.
“This funding and the projects being delivered, will ensure our regional airports remain viable now and in the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Regional Airports Program would assist the owners of regional airports to undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for regional Australians.
“For our regional communities, the local airport is an essential link to the rest of Australia,” Mr 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.”
This funding is in addition to the Federal Government’s total package of support for Australia’s aviation industry of more than $1.2 billion.
It also complements airport infrastructure funding already delivered including our $2 million Instrument Landing System upgrade at Tamworth, $3.5 million investment in the Armidale Regional Airport terminal upgrade and $1 million for the adjacent airport roundabout.
New England airport project details:
$3 million - Scone Regional Airport Upgrade - Airside Infrastructure Component: The overall viability of the aerodrome hinges on immediately completion of runway reconstruction and resealing and taxiway and apron extensions and upgrades to continue to cater for GA, RFSD and other emergency services operators. The airport, without major safety upgrades to its infrastructure, would lose its certified airport status and revert to recreational use. The airport is frequently used for all Upper Hunter emergency services air operations
$1.375 million - Tamworth Regional Council - airside LED lighting and Charter apron upgrade: lighting upgrades essential to meet CASA requirements. Apron upgrades will improve safety and accessibility for GA operators and passengers.
$1.227 million - Armidale Regional Airport - Improved Aircraft Ground Movement Management: stormwater drain issues impacting plane movement areas; provision of a break-down area on RPT apron; installation of a re-fuelling apron; taxi lane for movement of GA aircraft from hangar to taxiway; installation of an all-weather access from GA area to gate for re-fuelling trucks to prevent rutting of grassed GA area; installation of apron floodlighting.
$136,634 - Enhancing Inverell Aerodrome Safety with Navigational Aids: Improve safety of aircraft, operators and passengers, facilitate delivery of essential goods and services and aid their operational requirements.
$81,048 - Improving Safety with Exclusion Fencing at Inverell Airport: the project is to fence off the Inverell Aerodrome, protecting aeromedical operators and other airport users from the risk of wildlife strike.