Swan Hill Rural City Council has welcomed the Federal Government’s $1.2 million in funding for upgrades to the Swan Hill Aerodrome.
Announced by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormick and Federal Member for Mallee Anne Webster on the weekend, the funding, which will be matched by Council, will enable the aerodrome to increase its capacity, including allowing larger aircraft to operate at the facility.
Council’s Chief Executive Officer John McLinden said economic expansion in the Swan Hill region had been significant during the past five years, and the aerodrome upgrades would cater to the region’s continued growth.
“The upgrades are also essential to cater for the needs of the aeromedical and emergency service operations for the SES and CFA, as well as manufacturing, agricultural and service industries, and increasing air tourism,” Mr McLinden said.
“These improvements will not only benefit the medical operators but will allow economic growth.
“In particular, the upgrades will increase the connectivity for local businesses to domestic and global market opportunities, helping grow our economy,” he added.
Mr McLinden said established and new businesses required more access to charter flights and freight, while there was also further potential to support the local tourism industry.
“These opportunities need to be further explored including leveraging the significant number of visitors who come to the region for business purposes,” he said.
The upgrades include strengthening the main runway, allowing larger aircraft to operate in all weather conditions and extending the pavement area for a Jet A1 refuelling facility for larger and emergency
The funding will also enable the reconstruction and extension of the existing taxiway to bring it to the same standard of the runway for the larger aircraft. This will also help Council cater for growth at the
aerodrome, supporting the aeromedical and other community needs.
Additional parking bays for aerodrome users including medical emergency aircrafts and to improve operational safety will also take place as part of the upgrades.