Ballarat's airport runway extension set for takeoff in early 2023
Early works have started on the Ballarat Airport runway to extend its length from 1,300 to 1,800 metres.
The work is being undertaken by Fulton Hogan, following the awarding of a tender in August this year.
The runway extension will create opportunities to expand aviation uses at the airport, including emergency services.
Works are being jointly funded with $3.8 million from the Australian Government via its Regional Airports Program, and the City of Ballarat.
The start of the runway extension works is a major milestone and comes after years of advocacy by City of Ballarat to realise its long-term vision for the airport, as articulated in the Ballarat Airport Masterplan 2013-33.
This is the first stage of the transformational three-stage upgrade envisioned for the airport, which will improve transport connections, stimulate economic growth, and assist business expansion for Ballarat and the region.
Runway work is expected to be completed by mid-2023. Aircraft landing and taking off from Ballarat Airport will not be impacted during construction.
In the longer term, the runway extension will see primary road access to the airport shift to Liberator Drive – which will be constructed by Development Victoria as a separate project south of the airport, as part of the BWEZ development.
To maintain airport access until Liberator Drive is completed, road access will be immediately re-instated along Airport Road once the runway has been extended.
Users of Airport Road will experience only minor disruptions and will be able to use Airport Road as they do now, until Liberator Drive is completed.
Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King:
“The Ballarat Airport generates over $10 million in output each year – supporting jobs and the local economy.
“The airport supports a wide mix of activities including general and recreational aviation, emergency services operations and community hubs such as the Ballarat Aviation Museum.
“We know exactly how vital all of these services are for the Ballarat community and for businesses, which is why the Australian Government is proudly putting in the funding needed to make this runway extension a reality.”
Quotes attributable to City of Ballarat Mayor Des Hudson:
“The runway will offer the existing businesses new opportunities and attract new aviation businesses to our airport.
“The Ballarat Airport has a strong history as a facility that has adapted to the needs of the community over the years, having been originally constructed in 1940 as a training base for the Royal Australian Air Force Base at the outset of the Second World War.
“The Ballarat Airport is a significant aviation facility servicing Western Victoria which will be enhanced to support diversified aviation growth and provide benefits for the community and economy.
“The extension of the runway is the first stage upgrade which will ultimately allow for larger commercial freight aircraft, large firefighting and emergency services aircraft and increase opportunities to attract new aviation businesses to the airport.”