Armidale Regional Airport is preparing for a boost in aviation activities as construction to improve infrastructure for aircrafts, operators and passengers' powers ahead at the precinct.
Council embarked on the $2.45 million project, designed to expand and enhance aircraft ground movement, to include a taxiway, runway lighting improvements, installation of a refuelling apron, stormwater drainage and remediation of a grass runway.
Mayor Ian Tiley said the development supports critical air infrastructure and will address identified issues currently impeding operations or preventing the growth of general aviation activities at Armidale Regional Airport.
"The developments will facilitate improved delivery of essential goods and services, increase connectivity of our region to domestic and global market opportunities, and meet the operational requirements of aeromedical and other emergency services in the area," Cr Tiley said.
Armidale Regional Council general manager James Roncon said the expansion will eliminate congestion and provide greater capability for larger type aircrafts at the airport. Stormwater and drainage improvements will eliminate nuisance flooding and enable all weather access for general aviation aircrafts.
"The installation of a refuelling apron provides greater flexibility to aircraft travel, giving options for pilots using or within range of the airport to refuel without absorbing reserves to arrive at their destination."
"The Armidale region is growing and we're preparing our aviation industry for its progression," Mr Roncon said.
Since the relocation of the NSW RFS facilities, the airport played a major role in the Black Summer bushfires.
Airport manager Wes Summers said the grass runway was damaged during the intense aerial firefighting activities in summer 2019 and needs urgent remediation.
"The remediation work combined with other project developments will amplify bush fire capabilities for the Armidale region and wider communities.
"Overall, this is a major step in the right direction for our aviation industry, and it only has a positive flow on effect for all other business and organisations benefiting from aviation activities across the region," said Mr Summers.
The project is jointly funded by the federal government's Regional Airports Program and Armidale Regional Council.
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