Regional Aviation: remote air services delivery gets a boost

Media Release

WT133/2015

09 May 2015

Access for remote communities will be improved with an extra $39.6 million for airstrip upgrades and additional essential air services, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced today.

Safety and access at remote airstrips will be improved by $33.7 million in increased expenditure over the next four years. This is in addition to an extra $5.9 million over three years to support the existing network of essential flights the Government provides to remote communities.

“Many communities in remote Australia depend on air services for essential supplies, mail, passenger transport and medical care, especially if their roads become unusable because of the weather,” Mr Truss said.

“The additional airstrip funding from 2015–16 will provide grants to assist safety and access upgrades at remote airstrips under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme.

“The funding will be available to repair and upgrade runway surfaces, safety equipment such as runway lighting and navigation aids, and infrastructure such as fences and gates.”

Under the previous round announced in 2014, 42 projects received funding of some $9 million.

“The $5.9 million extra support for air services over the next three years will support the existing network of flights under the Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme and supplements the $50.9 million already allocated to this programme over the next four years,” Mr Truss said.

“This funding will help remote and isolated communities across Australia to maintain vital air access. It will allow the network of essential scheduled flights provided for communities to be maintained.

“The communities, which include Indigenous communities and cattle stations, rely heavily on air services for essential deliveries of food, medical supplies and educational materials, as well as passenger transport in many cases.

“The Government's RASS flights currently serve 87 communities in the Northern Territory and 366 communities nationally.”