Ballarat City Council will vote on submitting a $5 million application to the Federal Government’s Regional Airports Fund to extend the Ballarat Airport’s main runway at its December 11 meeting.
An extension to accommodate larger CODE 3 C planes would allow the airport to create $426.1 million in economic output and provide 1471 jobs.
If the application is successful, Council would match the $5 million funding in the 2020/21 budget.
Submissions are due by mid-December, with the outcome expected to be known by mid-2020.
The runway upgrade would also allow the Ballarat Airport to create $1.2 million in annual revenue, which would allow its overall capital investment of $7.5 million to be paid back in 6.5 years.
The current runway length of approximately 1200 metres is too short to service a regional city, compared to its Victorian and New South Wales counterparts.
The benefits of the new runway include:
- Enhanced operation
- Economic benefits
- Building on current airport strengths including the established maintenance and servicing business and the large land area that can be used for commercial purposes, unlike metropolitan airports which are substantially constrained
The Regional Airports Program’s first round is currently open with $45 million available in total, with a maximum of $5 million for each application.
A Ballarat Aviation Emergency Service Hub has also been proposed at the airport to allow rapid response to emergencies, particularly fires, all across the state.
Council would also need to fund a temporary upgrade to McCartneys Road to provide an alternate access to the airport for development of the overall road network within the Ballarat West Employment Zone.