Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program begins 1 October

Applications for the latest round of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program will open on 1 October with the guidelines now available giving applicants an early opportunity to prepare.

The program has been hugely popular over recent years with more than $40 million spent on 209 programs since the Liberals and Nationals came to Government in 2013.

The 2018–19 Federal Budget allocated a further $28.3 million over four years to fund works designed to improve the safety and capacity of remote airstrips.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said airstrips in remote areas were crucial pieces of community infrastructure.

“For many communities, air services are essential for providing mail, supplies, transport and medical services,” Mr McCormack said.

“Improving the safety and capacity of airstrips will provide major benefits to the thousands of Australians who would otherwise have to rely on much slower and less reliable road links.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Gee said 31 upgrades were approved for funding in the last round, highlighting the importance of the program to remote communities.

“Each of these projects assists people living in those communities and their surrounding regions, whether that be through job creation, more reliable transport access or improved service delivery,” Mr Gee said.

“I urge the owners or operators of remote community airstrips in need of an upgrade to make an application under Round 7 when applications open.

“Applications for Round 7 will remain open until 12 November 2019 to provide communities with the time needed to make strong proposals.”

Acting Federation Executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Malcolm White said today’s announcement would provide practical improvements to airstrips giving people living in remote Australia a service they can rely on.

“The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program funds improvements such as new lighting, navigation systems, runway sealing and fencing,” Mr White said.

“Kangaroos, emus and other animals can cause tremendous damage when airstrips are unfenced. This program ensures airstrips are maintained and safe for staff and passengers.”

Funding approved under Round 6 included $1.8 million for the reconstruction of the Flinders Island aerodrome in Tasmania; $700,000 for fencing, lighting and apron works at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory; $778,876 for resealing the runway, taxiway and apron, solar powered lighting and drainage works at Oak Valley in South Australia; $19,875 for fencing works at Wentworth and $15,000 for Pilot Activated Lighting at Windorah at Queensland.

The Round 7 guidelines and other information is available from  www.business.gov.au/assistance/remote-airstrip-upgrade-program or by calling 13 28 46.