REGIONAL AIRPORTS PROGRAM TAKES OFF

REGIONAL Airport owners and operators will soon be able to apply for a share in $100 million of funding for safety upgrades as part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s new Regional Airports Program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the guidelines are now available giving airport owners and operators more information on their eligibility for the program.

“For many regional communities, the local airport provides an essential link to the rest of Australia,” Mr McCormack said. 

“That’s why we’ve committed $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 or safety equipment.

“The Liberals and Nationals are backing people living in rural and regional Australia, whether that be through job creation, access to more reliable transport or better service delivery.

“The Regional Airports Program will make sure regional airports meet the needs of communities and local industry now and into the future.”

CEO of the Australian Airports Association Caroline Wilkie welcomed the announcement.

“With so many regional airports struggling to make ends meet, access to funding for essential maintenance and upgrades will be a game changer for the regions,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Our regional airports are the lifeblood of their communities and this funding will help them meet the needs of local people and businesses for years to come.

“This is an important step towards ensuring a strong, safe and vibrant regional airport network for the benefit of all Australians.”

CEO of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) Mike Higgins said the announcement further demonstrates the continuing support of regional aviation by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.

“The RAAA looks forward to realising the benefits this program will provide in relieving cost pressures on regional airlines to help keep airfares as low as possible.”

Owners and operators of any regional airport who can identify a real need for an upgrade are urged to make an application under Round 1 when they open on 24 October 2019.”

Applications for Round 1 will remain open until 12 December 2019 to provide communities with the time needed to make strong proposals.

The guidelines and other information is available from www.business.gov.au/assistance/regional-airports-program or by calling 13 28 46.

Shane Manning