The Western Australian Government has allocated $3 million to the Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS).
Grants have been awarded to 25 projects across the state in order to upgrade runways, airstrip lighting, airport development planning, installation of animal exclusion fencing, improving operational safety and facilities for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
Balgo Hill Airport in the Kimberley received the largest grant of over $427,000, which will contribute to upgrading the runway and replacing runway lighting and enabling safer night landings.
The remote airstrip is important for medical evacuations, with 459 RFDS landings occurring in the last five years.
Carnarvon Airport received $355,718 from the program, Wiluna Airport will get $376,000 and there is $290,000 for the Mantamaru (Jameson) Community Airstrip in the Goldfields.
The funding contribution for this round of RADS grants was increased to up to 75 per cent of the project cost for works that can be completed by December 31, 2021 and can demonstrate employment of locals – helping stimulate economic recovery in WA.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said this round of RADS grants focus on labour-intensive infrastructure projects that can be completed by the end of 2021, to help stimulate regional economies, boost local job opportunities and assist the aviation sector on the road to recovery.
“The Goldfields-Esperance region received the largest sum of over $634,000 to be shared by six airports for projects ranging from improving runway surfaces, installing solar airstrip lighting and upgrading security; to installing fencing to keep animals off the runway,” Saffioti said.
“In this RADS round eight grants totalling nearly $1 million will deliver improved airport facilities for remote Aboriginal communities, with aviation access critical to the health and wellbeing of these remote residents.”