May 9, 2019

Media Release – Labor commits to extending Ballarat Airport runway – Thursday, 9 May 2019

A Shorten Labor Government would invest $14 million to bring Ballarat Airport into the 21st century and open it up to larger aircraft.

This election is a choice. Labor is choosing better hospitals, better schools and better local infrastructure like extending the Ballarat Airport runway. Mr Morrison and the Liberals are choosing bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town.

Ballarat Airport currently has two asphalt runways – but neither is long enough to serve larger planes.

For 52 years the Airport’s main north-south runway has been cut in half by an access road.

Labor’s investment will re-join the two parts of the runway and upgrade the surface to ensure safe, year-round access.

While the airport supports commercial aviation and non-commercial uses, including emergency services and a commercial pilot flight training school, it cannot expand its operations until its main runway is extended.

The two most common regional passenger aircraft used in Australia are the Dash 8 and SAAB-340. Both aircraft require runway lengths of around 1,600 metres to operate – but Ballarat Airport’s runways are only 1,245 metres long.

Similar constraints exist for freight aircraft operations.

Labor’s investment at Ballarat Airport will expand the main runway’s length to at least 1,800 metres – delivering a significant, long-term infrastructure asset for our City.

The expansion of the runway at Ballarat Airport will allow larger aircraft to fly in and out of Ballarat, encouraging further economic development across our region.

This expansion will be the first step towards developing Ballarat Airport into a facility appropriate for a growing regional city.

Ballarat Airport is well located, with considerable space available for expansion of t-+he existing activities and good access to the rest of Ballarat, including the Ballarat West Employment Zone.

Eventually, this investment could see regular passenger services operated out of Ballarat – in line with those just beginning from Bendigo Airport.

Overall this project will cost $22.5 million, with the remaining funds to be sourced by the City of Ballarat.

This is another example of Labor investing in the long-term future of our City and our region.

While the Liberals have spent almost the entirety of their term in Government ignoring the needs of Ballarat, Labor will invest in the future of our City.

End the chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor.