Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

New England airports are sharing in just over $4 million in funding as part of the latest round of grants under the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Airports Program

44 airports across regional Australia are sharing in $27.9 million of funding under round three of the Regional Airports Program, intended to help make regional airports safer and more accessible.

The program funds important upgrades, including works such as resurfacing runways to ensure air operators can land safely and without damaging their aircraft, or installing fencing to prevent animals entering the airport, providing safer landings for air operators.

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King, said the program delivers significant benefits for regional aviation and communities, including increasing safety for aircraft, operators and passengers.

“These projects are also an investment in the improved delivery of goods and services, including healthcare and passenger air services.

“Investing in our regional airports is also critical to supporting the operational requirements of aeromedical and other emergency services.”

In the New England electorate:

  • Glen Innes Airport will receive over $1.1 million for a renewal of the main runway, a lighting upgrade with a Pilot Activated Airport Lighting System and an illuminated wind direction indicator
  • Armidale Regional Airport receives over $440,000 for runway resealing and line marking, and the replacement of a secondary wind direction indicator
  • Inverell Airport has been allocated over $270,000 to upgrade and extend the aircraft parking apron, and
  • Scone Regional Airport receives almost $2.5 million for a runway upgrade and resurfacing.

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce welcomed the $4.28 million boost to regional airports in the electorate but has questioned why the Labor Government has taken so long to release the funding.

“Airport owners have had to endure months of unnecessary delays, waiting to repair and resurface runways and undertake associated safety and other upgrades, while the Labor Government delayed decisions on the funding allocations.”

“There is no reason why it should have taken so long.”

“This was a program handed to the incoming Labor Government on a platter with money already in the Budget and a tried and tested means of assessing projects,” Mr Joyce said.

“The delay in allocating this funding, on top of stripping $69 million from the road black spot program, is worrying and raises serious questions about Labor’s priorities for rural and regional Australia.”

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