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    Stawell Airport. Picture: GRAMPIANS HELICOPTERS
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    Horsham Aerodrome and Horsham Aeromedical Transfer Station.

Safety upgrades for Stawell and Horsham airports

Stawell and Horsham airports are among 60 regional airports to share in a $41.2-million Federal Government program to help Australia’s aviation industry through the coronavirus pandemic.

Stawell Airport received $300,000 for fencing upgrades, taxiway works and smaller safety works, while Horsham Aerodrome will use $105,591 in funding towards an apron lighting upgrade.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack announced the recipients of the Regional Airports Program on Monday.

He said the program would help the owners of regional airports undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for regional Australians.

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Northern Grampians Shire mayor Murray Emerson said the council would match the government’s $300,000 to deliver a $600,000 upgrade.

He said the funding would allow the council to complete several significant safety improvements at Stawell Airport, which operates as the region’s major aviation hub.

It is also an emergency response base. 

The funding will help the council deliver stages 5B and 5C of the Stawell Airport Redevelopment Project. 

This project includes:

• The installation of 3580 metres of vermin-proof fencing, preventing wildlife from entering the airport by securing the entire perimeter.

• Upgrade and realignment of the Taxiway Bravo to Code B requirements for safe passage of aircraft to the main runway and improving access to runways 11-29 and 18-36, the apron, hangars and refuelling area.

• Extension of the apron parking area to improve efficiency and safe aircraft movement to the hangars and refuelling area by increasing the apron area by 1500 square metres and installing cable type and normal tie-downs to provide additional apron parking.

• Renewed line marking of the runways, taxiways and apron areas; additional aircraft tie-down points and general safety upgrades to ensure compliance with the new Manual of Standards regulations.

Cr Emerson said the upgrades would make Stawell Airport safer and easier to use for everyone.

“The main ongoing safety concern at the airport has been the presence of kangaroos and other wildlife on and around the airport. There have been many near-misses over the years,” he said.

“With this funding and the additional fencing, we’ll be able to effectively keep the animals away from the planes, which will be safer for the airport users and help to protect our local wildlife as well.

“The overall safety improvements this project and funding will allow for are the result of many hours of work with Stawell Airport Management Committee and reflects a genuine need from the airport users.

“Our entire region will be better served with a better regional airport.”

Northern Grampians Shire chief executive Liana Thompson thanked the Member for Wannon Dan Tehan for supporting the project.

“Minister Tehan has taken a strong interest in this project as an opportunity to boost emergency services and the economy and we thank him for the support,” she said.

“These improvements to our airport will mean better access to our region from the air, increased safety of our residents during events such as bushfire, and increased safety at the airport itself.”

Ms Thompson said the upgrades were scheduled to start as early as next month and should be finished by June, 2022.

The entire June 17, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!