Newcastle Airport in NSW secures funding for much-needed upgrade

Monica Gameng   |   May 11, 2021
Front of airport (cr: Newcastle Airport)

New South Wales’ Newcastle Airport will soon be seeing an upgraded runway that will open opportunities for new domestic and international travel as well as export destinations for residents and businesses in the Hunter and Central Coast regions. 

The upgrade is now possible following a significant funding commitment valued at $66 million from the Australian Government. 

“I want to thank the Prime Minister and the Federal Government for the confidence and trust they have shown in our airport and the region more generally. 

“Attracting this funding has been the result of a huge effort from the entire region. The support we have received from all sectors of our community in advocating for this project has been extraordinary,” Newcastle Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock said. 

This project will include widening the runway that can accommodate longer range domestic and international passenger services and help increase large freight capabilities that local exporters can benefit from. 

The multi-million-dollar upgrade is anticipated to create approximately 4,400 full-time jobs and allow up to 850,000 additional visitors to the region. The Newcastle Airport runway upgrade is also expected to add about $12.7 billion to the local economy over the next two decades. 

“This investment demonstrates our commitment to the Hunter economy, its workers and businesses and will deliver a jobs boom for the whole region. 

“This investment will also deliver hundreds of thousands of extra tourists to the region, spending money in local businesses, while exporters in the region will be able to access increased freight flights into new international markets. 

“This funding leverages our significant defence investments at RAAF Base Williamtown, not only creating local economic benefits but also making it easier for the entire local community to travel domestically, and once open again, to travel internationally to many new locations,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. 

Upgrading the airport runway to Code E status will enable larger aircrafts such as Boeing 777s and Airbus 330s to land in Newcastle. This could mean two daily international flights along with increased frequency of daily direct domestic flights. 

The Newcastle Airport upgrade is going to be undertaken together with the scheduled RAAF runway maintenance at the Williamstown base. 

The Australian Government is also committing to the aviation sector as well as maintaining the country's aviation infrastructure as part of an ongoing support that will guarantee the sector recovers and thrives. 

“This has included close to $3 million in support to Newcastle Airport to assist with security screening costs, supporting half-price flights to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast through Qantas and FlyPelican and funding to maintain essential flights to and from the airport through the peak COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This has ensured activity is sustained at the airport and today's announcement continues to back in this support to drive the economy and to maintain jobs for the Hunter region,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said. 

For this project, the Department of Defence will ensure that local businesses are contracted to deliver the upgrade through the Industry Capability Plan. 

According to Minister for Defence Peter Dutton, the Government is committed to position Defence to help increase Australia's strategic competition. 

“The upgraded lighting and runway will ensure the airfield remains in line with modern industry aviation standards. This is critically important to support the operation of fifth generation aircraft into the future. 

“The improved drainage will allow the Australian Defence Force to support operations through heavy weather events, such as seen in NSE with the recent floods,” Minister Dutton said. 

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said that this initiative will help raise the capability of Williamstown RAAF Base and open up new international markets for tourism and trade, which helps boost the region's economy. 

“Our tourism operators know what an amazing asset the airport is and as we reopen flights within Australia and later to the world the Hunter and Mid North Coast are all set to benefit. 

“This project will reduce cost and travel times for air-freight movements benefitting our primary producers and attract more Corporate, Defence and Aerospace to the Hunter,” Dr Gillespie said. 

Construction on this project is anticipated to commence later this year and completed by 2023, subject to pending parliamentary approvals. 

Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional DevelopmentNewcastle Airport; ABC News; 7 News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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