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Funding boost for runway upgrades

Merimbula airial view with airport in the background.

Photograph: The upgrade works at the Merimbula Airport have been given another boost, with the Federal Government announcing a $4.5 million funding injection.

15 June 2020

The upgrade works at the Merimbula Airport have been given another exciting boost, with the Federal Government announcing a $4.5 million funding injection over the weekend.

This new money will go towards improving the existing runway to achieve a formal strength rating for the Saab340 aircraft and further increase the rating to accommodate for the ATR72 and Dash8Q400 aircraft.

Extensions to the runway; the addition of further general aviation infrastructure, such as taxiways and vehicle access; and the expansion of the commercial development of the airport site are also planned.

Both Council and the NSW State Government are also providing significant contributions towards these important infrastructure upgrades.

This latest funding announcement comes after Bega Valley Shire Council was encouraged by the Deputy Prime Minister (in late 2019) to apply for support under through the Regional Airports Program that assists the owners of regional airports to undertake essential works, in turn promoting aviation safety and access for regional Australians.

Aviation experts Lambert and Rehbein, with a team including engineers and runway specialists, have led the plan development for the runway improvements.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Mayor, Cr Sharon Tapscott, said like all regional areas, our airport is an essential link for our community to the rest of the country and the wider world.

“This project is needed to allow a greater range of aircraft and airlines to provide both passenger and freight services to the region,” Cr Tapscott said.

“The successful completion of the strengthening and extension, which are consistent with the current approved master plan for the site and complement the recently competed terminal upgrade and are vital to enable the airport to better adapt to the ongoing growth of passenger numbers.

“A more accessible airport will attract more domestic and international visitors to our beautiful Sapphire Coast and in turn provide a real boost to our local small businesses.”

For more information on the Regional Airports Program, visit https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional/rap.aspx

For more information on the Merimbula Airport project, contact Council’s project manager, Jenny Symons, on (02) 6499 2222.

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