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Merimbula Airport Infrastructure Works

Council & Infrastructure / Infrastructure & Maintenance / Major Projects

Merimbula Airport Infrastructure Works

Project Summary/background

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:

  1. Runway Extension
    • Scope: Extend the existing runway length so that it is fully compliant for maximum take-off weight for larger aircraft, including ATR 72 and Dash8 Q400 aircraft.
    • Deliverable: Design and construction of a 120m long runway ‘starter extension’ at each end of the existing runway  and retain the existing  take-off and landing points.
  2. General Aviation & Commercial Precinct
    • Scope: Provision of additional general aviation infrastructure (taxiways, vehicle access, stormwater services) to permit the relocation of general aviation activity away from the secure areas that will be required for ATR72 and Dash8 Q400 aircraft.
    • Deliverable: Design and construction of infrastructure to permit the development of general aviation activity at the airport to the limit of available funding.
  3. Existing Runway Improvement
    • Scope: Renewing and strengthening of existing runway, taxiway and aprons to reset the current pavement and increase its classification to allow unrestricted operations for larger aircraft including SF 340 Q400.
    • Deliverable: Design and construction of an overlay of the existing runway, taxiways and aprons to the to the limit of available funding.

Purpose

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.

Funding

Council currently has $15m available in external funding comprising:

  • NSW State Government Funding – Restart NSW – Regional Tourism Infrastructure Program –  $4,391,040 – October 2016
  • NSW State Government – Drought Stimulus Package - $4,000,000 – December 2019
  • Federal Government – Regional Airports Program Grants – Round 1 – $4,500,000 – June 2020 with a $63,000 BVSC Co-Contribution
  • Federal Government – Regional Airports Program Grants – Round 2 – $2,165,000 – August 2021

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.

Connection to Council's Community Strategic Plan

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:

  • Goal 3: Our economy is prosperous, diverse and supported by innovative and creative businesses.
  • Goal 9: We have opportunities to work, learn and socialise through the provision of affordable public transport and telecommunications services.
  • Goal 10: We have a good network of good quality roads footpaths and cycleways connecting communities throughout the Shire and beyond

This project also aligns with actions identified in Council’s adopted Delivery Program 2021-22:

  • 5.9.3: Deliver capital works programs for Merimbula Airport
  • 5.10.1: Manage, construct and maintain Merimbula Airport

The Merimbula Airport Master Plan is another major strategic driver for the airport.

Who can I speak to:

Jenny Symons
Project Manager
Bega Valley Shire Council
Phone: (02) 6499 2222
Email: jsymons@begavalley.nsw.gov.au

Daniel Djikic
Project Services Manager
Phone: 02 6499 2222
Email: DDjikic@begavalley.nsw.gov.au

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