Lethbridge Airpark opens after $1 million upgrade
On behalf of the Minister for the Aviation Industry Gordon Rich-Phillips, Member for Western Victoria Region David Koch officially opened the $1 million upgrade to Lethbridge Airpark, a project that was supported by the Victorian Coalition Government’s Regional Aviation Fund (RAF).
Mr Koch said that the RAF grant of $1,008,524 has revitalised Lethbridge Airpark, a hub for the region’s commercial, emergency and general aviation services, including flight training, aircraft maintenance and charter flight operations.
“Lethbridge Airpark is a great example of how the Regional Aviation Fund is improving public-use regional aerodromes so that they can make an even stronger contribution to local economies and communities,” Mr Koch said.
Mr Koch said that the new upgrade was already generating business growth and new investment and development opportunities.
“The two flying schools currently operating at the Airpark have increased their fleets by six aircraft in total since the runway upgrade, while the number of businesses based here is expected to double to 20 within the next 12 months,” Mr Koch said.
Both runways at the Airpark have been realigned to increase the distance of aircraft arrival and departure paths from nearest residences, while one has been expanded to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Beech KingAir 200, currently used by Ambulance Victoria.
An improved airport taxiway system includes a new 115 metre sealed taxiway and the sealing of the central area of one runway and the hardstand.
The fuelling area has also been sealed and an illuminated windsock and pilot-operated lighting system have been installed. More types of aircraft are now able to refuel during more hours of the day and night, and there is all weather support for emergency services.
Mr Koch said Lethbridge Airpark now has a new helipad and new water delivery system for CFA operated fire-fighting aircraft, which will better support emergency services using the Airpark.
“The Regional Aviation Fund’s investment in aviation infrastructure means regional communities can derive even greater benefits from their airports, which are essential to tourism, air freight, emergency services and business. The Victorian Coalition Government has to date announced $15.3 million in funding for 18 regional aerodrome projects,” Mr Koch said.
“This is a great initiative for the local community, as these upgrades are allowing Lethbridge Airpark to handle increased numbers and types of aircraft, which will expand the aviation business and educational services it offers,” Liberal candidate for Buninyong Ben Taylor said.
“The upgrade means that Lethbridge Airpark can more effectively host community events like today’s Brown Ribbon Ride & Fly Day, which is raising funds and awareness about prostate cancer,” Nationals candidate for Buninyong Sonia Smith said.
Media contact: Andrew Drever 0409 580 996