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Regional airports get $100M safety boost

Western Sydney Airport contract up for tender. Aricraft.

The Federal Government has unveiled a $100 million funding program for safety upgrades at regional airports.

The Regional Airports Program will be available over four years from 2019-20 to 2022-23 to help owners of regional airports across Australia deliver safer runways, taxiways and other upgrades such as new fencing or equipment.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said guidelines are now available, giving airport owners and operators more information on eligibility for the program.

“For many regional communities, the local airport provides an essential link to the rest of Australia,” McCormack said.

“The Regional Airports Program will make sure regional airports meet the needs of communities and local industry now and into the future.”

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Australian Airports Association CEO Caroline Wilkie welcomed the announcement.

“With so many regional airports struggling to make ends meet, access to funding for essential maintenance and upgrades will be a game changer for the regions,” Wilkie said.

“This is an important step towards ensuring a strong, safe and vibrant regional airport network for the benefit of all Australians.”

Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) CEO Mike Higgins said the announcement further demonstrates the continuing support of regional aviation by the Federal Government.

“The RAAA looks forward to realising the benefits this program will provide in relieving cost pressures on regional airlines to help keep airfares as low as possible,” he said.

“Owners and operators of any regional airport that can identify a real need for an upgrade are urged to make an application under Round 1 when it opens on 24 October 2019.”

Applications for Round 1 will remain open until 12 December 2019 to provide communities with the time needed to make strong proposals.

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