City of Newcastle has welcomed news that the Federal Government has committed $66 million towards Newcastle Airport’s runway upgrade as part of today’s Federal Budget announcement.
The airport project is a key part of the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan plan and expected to create 4500 jobs and generate an estimated $12.7 billion in economic benefits through international airfreight, industrial expansion and stimulation of the visitor economy.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the project will provide a vital boost for Newcastle and the wider region during the next two decades.
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the City of Newcastle and broader region, following ongoing advocacy to bring our airport’s runway up to international standard (Code E) and allow it to accommodate long-range, wide-bodied aircraft,” Cr Nelmes said.
“Newcastle Airport plays a key role in our city’s ongoing transition from a great regional centre to an emerging global city, connecting our local communities with family, friends and colleagues across the nation and around the globe.
“Upgrading the runway to international standard will allow us to build on the attractiveness of this region as an international destination, while also providing direct connections around the world for local travellers.
“Newcastle and the Hunter Region are also home to a wide range of businesses supplying products and services to an expanding global customer base. This upgrade will allow for a significant increase in the commercial activity flowing through the airport.
“Strengthening Newcastle’s global transport gateways such as the Airport and Port of Newcastle will ultimately lead to significant growth in the number of jobs required to provide our services and connect our people and products with national and international opportunities.
“This has never been as important as it is today, with hundreds of thousands of livelihoods affected by COVID-19.”
Newcastle Airport is jointly owned by City of Newcastle and Port Stephens Council, with the runway upgrade a top priority for the adjoining local government areas.
The upgrade aligns with a key outcome of the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan – to grow the airport and aerospace and defence precinct at Williamtown – as well as the NSW Government’s decision to create a Special Aviation Precinct that covers up to 10,000 hectares of land in and around Newcastle Airport and RAAF Base.