Construction has commenced on an airside amenities and crew rest area at the Armidale Regional Airport.
The project has been funded by the Australian Government's Regional Airports Program Round 2 funding of $300,000 awarded to Armidale Regional Council.
The new facility will provide a space for aero-medical personnel and their patients whilst waiting for the arrival of an aircraft ambulance or a patient transfer by road ambulance.
The new facility is being constructed adjacent to the airside apron and will include a disabled toilet, kitchenette and lounge area. The space will also be available to general aviation pilots and crew.
Mayor Sam Coupland said the airside amenities facility will provide much needed protection for crews and patients waiting for incoming aircraft or road transfers.
"Being exposed to the elements, particularly airside at an airport, can be extremely unforgiving at the best of times, let alone when you are a patient needing critical care and an emergency transfer," mayor Coupland said.
"As a regional area it is critically important that we have access to air ambulance services. This new facility will not only make patient care much better but will also provide a space for crew to relax without the need to enter the terminal building."
The project will cost $161,000 with the remaining Regional Airport Program funds allocated towards the automation of airside gates one and three and the installation of a general aviation tie down area for the use of visiting light aircraft.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said these new facilities could potentially save the lives of regional Australians.
"These new facilities, funded by Round two of the Liberal Nationals Government Regional Airport Program, will change the way for better medical and emergency transfers at the Armidale Regional Airport.
"This goes to show the Coalition Government is committed to making every day life better for Armidale and regional Australians," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Construction of the airside amenities facility is expected to take approximately eight weeks (weather permitting).
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