Dec 2, 2012

Port Macquarie Airport upgrade kicks off next week

Next week, preliminary works to upgrade Port Macquarie Airport will kick off.

This multimillion dollar upgrade will provide the mid North Coast region with world class airport facilities and includes strengthening and widening the runway, expanding the aircraft parking area and relocating helicopter landing facilities.

The Federal Labor Government is providing $15 million for the $18.45 million project, with Port Macquarie Hastings Council funding the remainder.

Extending and widening the runway, taxiway and apron system to cater for much larger aircraft including the B737/800 and A320 series will significantly improve airport capacity and open up the region to the possibility of exciting new routes. This in turn will create competition to increase air services to the region and drive tourism growth.

Just as important, the upgrade will boost the local economy with the possibility of a new hub for aviation related activities which could include pilot training and aircraft maintenance.

The airport upgrade is expected to be completed in mid next year.

The Port Macquarie Airport is the centrepiece of the Mid North Coast Regional Aviation Plan – a plan which also encompasses upgrades to aviation facilities at Kempsey and Taree.

Together, these upgrades will create over 300 jobs during the construction stage and another 800 full time jobs during the operational phase of the plan.

For regional Australia, aviation will remain the arteries that connect Australians to each other and the world.

For the six years to 2014, the Federal Labor Government is investing $145 million for Regional Aviation Programs, including $61 million in total for subsidised remote community flights under the Regional Aviation Programs, compared to the Coalition’s allocation of just $16 million for this purpose over the previous six years.