16 October, 2020
Remote Airstrip Funding
THE AUSTRALIAN Airports Association (AAA) has welcomed the latest round of the Federal Government's Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program, saying it comes at a critical time for the struggling airports sector.
AAA Chief Executive James Goodwin said there were around 350 remote airstrips across Australia which were integral to rural and remote communities.
"Remote airstrips provide communities critical access to medical services, they enable farmers to use aircraft for spraying and mustering and also support bushfire fighting aircraft which helped save lives and property during last year's devastating bushfire season," Mr Goodwin said.
"These smaller airfields have also played an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing medical professionals and supplies into remote communities.
"Flights landing on these remote airstrips are often delivering food, essential supplies and mail to regions which have limited access to the larger supermarkets and retail outlets.
"They're also vital in keeping our remote communities connected to the rest of Australia, helping residents reach the larger cities for medical appointments, business travel and education.
"As Northern Australia heads into the wet season, its crucial these landing strips are able to function so that communities aren't left stranded when local roads are cut off by flooding.
"There is $7 million available for a range of projects including improving runway surfaces, new lighting and animal proof fencing.
"Importantly these projects will create local jobs for local people with the economic flow on effects set to benefit remote towns doing it tough," Mr Goodwin said.