Merimbula Airport is a vital component of the shire’s integrated transport network linking the Bega Valley Shire with capital cities across Australia. It provides essential links for professional, legal, specialist and medical services and passengers for tourism, employment and business purposes.
The Merimbula Airport Infrastructure Works project will improve the runway and create a new precinct for general aviation. The changes will provide for existing and future passenger aircraft and create a dedicated area for general aviation use. This will increase our tourism opportunities and make it easier for people to travel for business. The project will also stimulate general aviation activity at the airport.
The project includes three elements:
Council owns and operates the Merimbula Airport, providing a vital component of the shire’s integrated transport network linking the Bega Valley Shire with destinations across Australia. The airport provides essential links for professional, legal, specialist and medical services and passengers for tourism, employment and business purposes.
The social benefits of ensuring the airport’s infrastructure keeps pace with the community’s needs and changes in aircraft design have been identified in: ‘Working Towards Our Future’ Bega Valley Shire Community Strategic Plan 2042.
Council has recognised the importance of ensuring the infrastructure at the airport keeps up with the stringent federal legislation for aviation and wider airline industry trends. It has actively pursued funding opportunities to invest in the necessary infrastructure with the aim of increasing passenger travel options for the community and to support and stimulate general aviation activity at the airport.
Council currently has $15m available in external funding comprising:
Council has committed to fund the previously resolved loans program by $2.4m, with the runway extension to be funded by the existing airport infrastructure Special Rate Variation.
A funding application has been submitted to the NSW Government Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund for $0.98m and Council is awaiting on the outcome of this funding.
At its meeting of 4 August 2021, Council endorsed a further loan of up to $2m to be funded by the future income generated by the lease of general aviation precinct land to assist in covering any funding gaps.
In total, funds of up to $20.45m are available to deliver Merimbula Airport infrastructure projects.
The airport is a critical element of Council’s strategic transport direction. The management and provision of passenger services into the future is critical to ensure the best outcomes for the community.
The upgrade of infrastructure at Merimbula Airport is consistent with several key strategic directions set by Council as part of the Community Strategic Plan:
This project also aligns with actions identified in Council’s adopted Delivery Program 2021-22:
The Merimbula Airport Master Plan is another major strategic driver for the airport.