Funding for Port Augusta airport upgrade

21/03/2013

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Port Augusta airport is set for a major upgrade thanks to State Government funding of almost $430,000 from the Enterprise Zone Fund Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback.

The City of Port Augusta will use the funds to upgrade the airport terminal facility, car parking, and the airstrip apron.

Minister for Regional Development, Gail Gago, said the upgrade would enable Port Augusta to meet the increasing demands of the mining industry as well as encouraging interstate and overseas tourists to visit the Flinders Ranges and Outback.

"This is the first project to be funded from the place-based strategy developed by the three levels of government for the Upper Spencer Gulf," Ms Gago said.

"I am pleased to lead the way by funding this key project that has been identified in the region's action plan.

"In September 2012, the State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal and local governments to take an integrated and collaborative approach to Upper Spencer Gulf.

"Upgrading the airport is critical to reinforcing Port Augusta's role to strategically service mining, processing, and infrastructure developments in the Far North.

"This project means the airport will be able to comfortably service the predicted increase of 7,700 passengers over the next five years, as both general passenger numbers and Mining Charter passenger numbers grow.

"By upgrading the carpark, Port Augusta airport will be able to provide more long-term secure parking for fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers, furthering the development of the airport as a FIFO hub.

"Another significant benefit of this upgrade will be the capacity to improve the quality and reliability of the 24 hour Royal Flying Doctor Services, as well as removing restrictions on general aircraft movement on the apron.

"This Government is committed to supporting development in South Australia's regions; the Port Augusta airport upgrade will indirectly generate up to 45 jobs, and assist in the ongoing growth of the mining sector, providing economic benefits to all South Australians."

Port Augusta City Manager, Greg Perkin, welcomed the Government's support and said this was a major project for the city, and important for the region's ongoing growth.

"The airport is a major gateway to the city and an improved terminal building will provide a far more welcoming image of our city, and improved amenities for mine workers using Port Augusta as their family's home," Mr Perkin said.

The project is anticipated to commence by September 2013, with a projected total cost of approximately $857,000. The upgrade is due to be completed in early 2014.

The Enterprise Zone Fund Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback is a $4 million rolling fund, available over four years. The Fund is aimed at capturing the benefits of growing industries to further strengthen Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback communities.

For more information go to: www.pir.sa.gov.au/regions/programs/ezf