Australian Airports Association (AAA), with support from the Australian Logistics Council, Regional Aviation Association of Australia and Royal Flying Doctor Service, today launched the ‘Protect Regional Airports’ campaign designed to improve safety and access for passengers at rural and regional airports. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the contribution regional airports make to Australia and to encourage the Australian Government to commit to the following funding proposals:
Extend and expand the Regional Aviation Access Programme (RAAP) to AUD15 million (USD11.8 million), allowing remote communities to also benefit;
Develop a new AUD25 million (USD19.6 million) p/a programme similar to the RAAP that would allow regional centres to apply for funding.
Funding contribution would be evenly split between local/state governments and the Federal Government, with applications to be assessed on a case by case basis. The proposed funding would enable a range of safety improvements, including improved lighting, runways and animal fencing. There are more than 2000 landing strips and airports in Australia, including 250 that provide public transport. Regional airports employ and support more than 4000 staff and account for 45% of Australia’s tourism revenue, according to AAA CEO Caroline Wilkie. Ms Wilkie said independent analysis shows an AUD170 million (USD133.4 million) shortfall in maintenance and infrastructure funding at regional airports and costs for airports are expected to increase 40% over the next 10 years. Ms Wilkie said: “Australian airports have some of the world’s highest safety standards and this is something we are very proud of. To achieve and maintain these standards is an expensive exercise”. “We know that many of these airports are doing it tough,” Wilkie said.
Moruya Airport update: (as at Oct 2017) Council's archaeologist and team carried out test pitting in Airport redevelopment Stage 1 sites between 13 March and 1 May 2017. This process involved all materials excavated from the auger and test pits to be sifted, then analysed. If any objects were identified, the material was then recorded and the archaeologist analysed the results and prepared a report. A representative from either the Mogo Local Aboriginal Lands Council or the Cobowra Local Aboriginal Lands Council was present at all times to monitor the activity. Upon request by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Council commissioned an Anthropologist to prepare an Intangible Cultural Values Study for Moruya North Head including the Airport land. This study was completed on 28 June 2017 and recommended further studies, including investigation into possible scar trees, burial protocols in consultation with the Aboriginal community, research into a possible historical Aboriginal reserve and historic photographic evidence of a possible Bora ring. These studies have since been commissioned or completed. The final Archaeological Report and Intangible Cultural Values Study have been provided to Registered Aboriginal Parties and stakeholders for consultation. After this process has been completed, they will be submitted to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to seek a construction permit for components of Stage 1 development. Council has commenced discussions to develop a Brierley Boat Ramp Foreshore Plan to enhance and preserve the identified cultural values associated with this part of the site. The plan will consider installation of formalised parking, toilet and picnic facilities, interpretive signage, maintenance of the rock wall and boat ramp, and the planting of culturally valuable flora species. More information on the Moruya Airport Project HERE