MORE than $2.5 million has been allocated for improvement works at Wheatbelt airports following the announcement of $8.9 million for regional airport upgrades.
Merredin Airport was awarded the second largest grant of $1 million to re-surface the runway and taxiway.
This upgrade will allow pilot training to continue at Merredin Airport.
The funding comprises $6.9 million through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program and $2 million through the Department of Transport’s Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS).
Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the funding would contribute significantly to improving regional airport services.
“This year, 36 regional airports will share up to $8.9 million for infrastructure upgrades, maintenance programs and infrastructure planning studies to provide improved air transport access for communities, safer emergency evacuations and greater tourism opportunities,” Mr Buswell said.
The Alan Mather airstrip in Kellerberrin will be resurfaced and the Cunderdin airport will see upgrades to the emergency water supply, additional taxiway availability, additional pavement markings and research into the condition of the pavement.
In Hyden a patient transfer station and ambulance bays will be constructed; at Koorda airport improvements will seal the apron and install a patient transfer facility and a toilet; at Kunonoppin airport a patient transfer facility with shower and toilet will also be constructed and at the Southern Cross airport works to the sheet runway will be completed.
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Royalties for Regions program provided a significant and much-needed funding boost for regional airports and had enabled a wider scope of projects to be eligible for funding.
“The funding was committed to building stronger regional communities, especially for people in remote areas,” Mr Grylls said.
“This will ensure our regional airports continue to play a vital part in supporting communities, business and tourism across the State.”