UNCERTAINTY remains over exactly how much the federal government will chip in for the upgrade of the city’s airport, but Armidale Dumaresq Council has begun planning for the development.
Councillor Andrew Murat said Council was originally denied $4.9 million in regional developmen funding for the upgrade because the project “didn’t show enough regional support”.
He was uncertain whether the Council would secure such funding in the latest round.
But he expects the federal government will still allocate $275,000 towards the upgrade, on top of the $3.5 million promised by New England MP Barnaby Joyce.
Council’s director of public infrastructure David Steller said work on the airport had already begun, with $1.8 million in capital works earmarked from council reserves.
Among the works currently under way are tenders for runway lighting, an apron extension to the runway, resealing of the runway and a design for the terminal extension.
Mr Steller said these projects would be completed regardless of what happened with the federal government.
In the lead up to Saturday’s election Barnaby Joyce announced a Coalition government would commit $3.5 million to the airport for a terminal extension and parallel taxi-way.
He expected the federal government’s upgrade to the airport to be completed within its first term.
Mr Joyce said these projects could begin immediately. Confirmation of the details would probably take a few weeks.
Cr Murat said the announcement by Mr Joyce would take the pressure off Council. It was hoping to secure a $680,000 grant for next year so security could be installed at the airport.
Cr Murat said Tamworth, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga airports had already received upgrades to their security from that grant.
He said the long list of projects Council hoped to complete would be “economically a good thing”.