Far North Queensland airport owners and operators will soon be able to apply for a share of $100 million in funding for safety upgrades as part of the federal government’s new Regional Airports Program.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the program guidelines are now available, giving airport owners and operators more information on their eligibility for the program.
“For many regional communities, the local airport provides an essential link to the rest of Australia,” Mr McCormack said.
“That is why we have committed $100 million over four years to help owners of regional airports right across Australia deliver safer runways, taxiways and other safety upgrades such as new fencing or safety equipment.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the federal government is backing people living in Far North Queensland, whether through job creation, access to more reliable transport or better service delivery.
He said many Cape York and Torres Strait airstrips would be eligible for funding under the program.
“The Regional Airports Program will make sure regional and remote airports meet the needs of communities and local industry now and into the future,” Mr Entsch said.
“Owners and operators of any regional airport who can identify a real need for an upgrade are urged to make an application under Round 1 when they open on Thursday, 24 October 2019.
“Applications for Round 1 will remain open until Thursday, 12 December 2019 to provide communities with the time needed to make strong proposals.”
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,” Ms Wilkie said.
“Our regional airports are the lifeblood of their communities and this funding will help them meet the needs of local people and businesses for years to come.
“This is an important step towards ensuring a strong, safe and vibrant regional airport network for the benefit of all Australians.”
The guidelines and other information is available at www.business.gov.au/assistance/regional-airports-program or by calling 13 28 46.