The federal government has committed up to $100 million to upgrade regional airports across the nation, including those in Far North Queensland.
Processes for funding applications and assessments will be released later in 2019, with funding available from 1 July 2019.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the federal government was focused on connecting country and coastal communities.
He said topping the FNQ list would be the multi-million upgrade of Horn Island Airport – the region’s second international gateway.
“Reliable regional airports and services are vital for our region,” Mr Entsch said.
“Whether it is better and more reliable services and taxiways and runways to connect for business, for holidays, for education or for health engagements in the city, keeping the regions connected via air is vital.
“It also means our region can be an even more attractive place for domestic and international tourists.
“That means more money flowing into Far North Queensland businesses, with more jobs and opportunities for locals.
“I look forward to working with local councils and local communities across Far North Queensland to help our region take advantage of this Budget boost.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Airports Association Caroline Wilkie said the funding was a welcome initiative.
“The AAA report into regional airports in 2016 found airports provide essential links for communities but that many operate at a loss and have reduced capacity for essential capital works,” Ms Wilkie said.
“This funding will start to address this funding shortfall and assist this essential infrastructure to continue servicing communities into the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the investment will provide essential works to promote aviation safety and access for communities.
“No matter where you live, we want to connect country and coastal communities and get people home sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said.
“So the Liberals and Nationals are investing in safer regional runways, taxiways and projects such as better fencing to boost safety even further.
“By boosting regional airport investment by up to $100 million, we are making sure regional people and their communities get the infrastructure and services they deserve for business, leisure, health and education needs.”
Mr McCormack said regional airports provide vital links for communities to access services, job opportunities and domestic and international markets.
“We want more people – especially families and small businesses – moving to and staying in the regions, and better connectivity through airports is a vital part of that plan.
“The Liberals and Nationals understand communities rely on safe and efficient air services for emergency and other essential service flights. This will help ensure regional airports meet the needs of communities and local industry now and into the future.