Push for airport funding

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 25-Jan-2018

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Council is hoping further works for the Bendigo airport will be funded. Photo: Andrew Perryman.
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COUNCIL is progressing its vision to transform the Bendigo airport, applying to the federal government to help fund a near $10 million upgrade and extension of the airport’s terminal.

Works to upgrade the site’s runway were competed last year, with the $15m project delivering a new 1600-metre runway with the capacity to handle aircraft with up to 70 passengers or 30 tonnes of freight on board.

But with the airport’s buildings lagging behind the standard of the outside infrastructure, council is pushing for $4.5m in federal funding to secure an upgrade.

Council’s proposal for the facility would deliver new passenger facilities including an arrivals hall, baggage pick-up, check-in counters, public concourse and departure areas as well as opportunities for retail and food businesses.

Along with upgraded passenger facilities comes a need for better security, with the installation of high-tech baggage screening also in the works.

Also key among the plan remains a goal to use the site as a business park, with a new administration office and conference room, car parking and extension of utilities to support a long-term aim to use the site for greater commercial activity.

The City of Greater Bendigo says the expansion project would create 39 direct and indirect jobs locally and when operational the new terminal would support 45 employees.

CEO Craig Niemann said the expansion of the terminal building was the logical follow-up from the runway development.

“Following the opening of our new 1600-metre runway, it became clear that our focus needed to be on expanding the terminal building to ensure it could properly cater for airline services and expected passenger numbers,” Mr Niemann said. 

 “Our discussions with commercial airlines have been positive, so improved connectivity to the region is essential to meet their expectations, create a comfortable passenger experience, and support ongoing demand for interstate business and leisure travel, both incoming and outgoing.”

Mr Niemann said the council is proud of its partnership with both upper tiers of government and said he hopes the project is given serious consideration.

Along with the federal funding, council would commit $1m toward the plan and will advocate for $4.5m in state government funding.

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