The proposed Davis aerodrome will be subject to further scrutiny under Australian environmental legislation following a decision by the environmental regulator.
A submission for the proposed aerodrome and associated infrastructure has been considered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (EPBC Act). This submission was made available for public comment earlier this year.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Environmental Approvals Division decided the proposal is a ‘controlled action’ which means it requires further assessment and approvals before it can proceed.
The project will be assessed under an accredited process, with the preparation of a Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE).
The CEE will meet the requirements of both the EPBC Act and the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act (1980) (ATEP Act).
It will include a detailed description of the proposed activity including construction and operation of the paved runway, details on the environment, likely impacts, including cumulative impacts, measures taken to minimise or mitigate impacts, monitoring, impacts to historic sites and benefits of the capability.
The CEE will be released for public comment in Australia and internally, and also presented to the Antarctic Treaty nations in 2021.
The aerodrome proposal includes the construction and operation of a paved runway, access road, wharf, anchorage area and associated Davis station infrastructure.