A Warrnambool airport runway will get a $267,300 upgrade after securing federal government funding, but there are moves in the pipeline for even bigger improvements in the future.
Warrnambool City Council on Wednesday received the funding to seal the cross runway at the airport which was currently not sealed.
"That's good news," Warrnambool Airport Advisory committee chairman Stephen Lucas said.
He said it would improve the cross runway for aircraft landing at the airport when there was a strong cross wind.
"The cross runway is going to be a great advantage to smaller aircraft who use the airport post-COVID when we've got a lot of tourists and other people coming into town," he said.
Mr Lucas had previously flagged the need for a $10 million upgrade to the airport's main runway to make it accessible to larger aircraft so the region could cash in on the growing tourism market.
The council was now working through the requirements on what that project would look like and what the costs might be, he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Moyne councillor Jim Doukas said a masterplan for the airport had "been in the wind" for some time, but an upgrade to the terminal would not be the first thing on the priority list.
He said upgrading the runway and drainage to accommodate bigger planes needed to be done first.
"If you can't get the planes in you don't need a terminal do we," Cr Doukas said.
He said an upgrade was needed to accommodate the increasing industry in the area and the potential return of tourism when the borders open.
Cr Doukas welcomed funding to seal the cross runway. "How good's that," he said.
Warrnambool is one of 89 projects at regional airports to share in the $30 million handed out by the federal government under the program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the program supported important safety and access upgrades for regional airports.
"For our regional communities, the local airport provides an essential link to the rest of Australia," Mr Joyce said.
"This is a great example of the Liberal and Nationals Government backing the aviation industry and importantly it will help secure a stronger future for these regional areas - needed now more than ever as we continue to recover from COVID-19."
Australian Airports Association Chief Executive James Goodwin said funding for regional airport infrastructure had never been so important.
"Regional airports were among the first hit and will be one of the last to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with passenger numbers dropping more than 70 per cent during the peak," Mr Goodwin said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
- Bookmark https://www.standard.net.au/
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines and newsletters.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Tap here to open our Google News page.
- Join our Courts and Crime Facebook group and our dedicated Sport Facebook group