Remote Airstrip in Need of an Upgrade?

Date published

27 Sep 2019
Aircraft landing on remote dirt airstrip

Guidelines for Round 7 of the Remote Airstrip Upgrade program are now available, offering applicants an early opportunity to prepare for the opening of grants round.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said airstrips in remote areas were crucial pieces of community infrastructure.

“For many communities, air services are essential for providing mail, supplies, transport and medical services,” Mr McCormack said.

“Improving the safety and capacity of airstrips will provide major benefits to the thousands of Australians who would otherwise have to rely on much slower and less reliable road links.

“The 2018–19 Federal Budget allocated $28.3 million over four years to fund works designed to improve the safety and capacity of remote airstrips.”

RFDS aircraft on dirt airstrip

Acting Federation Executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Malcolm White said 

“The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program installs lighting, provides navigation systems, and seals runways. It keeps airstrips maintained and safe. Kangaroos, emus and other animals can cause tremendous damage when airstrips are unfenced. Today’s announcement will allow practical improvements to airstrips that remote residents rely on.”

Clinic Crew landing at a station as kids wave to the plane overhead

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Gee said 31 upgrades were approved for funding in the last round, highlighting the importance of the program to remote communities. 

“Each of these projects assists people living in those communities and their surrounding regions, whether that be through job creation, more reliable transport access or improved service delivery,” Mr Gee said. 

“I urge the owners or operators of remote community airstrips in need of an upgrade to make an application under Round 7 when applications open on 1 October.

“Applications for Round 7 will remain open until 12 November 2019 to provide communities with the time needed to make strong proposals.”

Funding approved under Round 6 included $1.8 million for the reconstruction of the Flinders Island aerodrome in Tasmania; $700,000 for fencing, lighting and apron works at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory; $778,876 for resealing the runway, taxiway and apron, solar powered lighting and drainage works at Oak Valley in South Australia; $19,875 for fencing works at Wentworth and $15,000 for Pilot Activated Lighting at Windorah at Queensland. 

The Round 7 guidelines and other information are available from or by calling 13 28 46.