The federal government has committed $66 million to upgrade Newcastle Airport to international flight standards, hosting two international flights and more domestic flights a day.
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The federal government has committed additional investment into developing Newcastle Airport to allow bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus 330 to land at the site, enabling Newcastle to host two international flights a day in addition to an increased number of domestic flights.
The $66 million investment will bring the runway to international flight standards, and will connect the Hunter and Central Coast regions of NSW to the world.
It is expected that the upgrades will coincide with upgrades to RAAF Williamtown, with construction to the airport finishing in 2023.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes that the airport will help to support local industries and businesses.
“This investment demonstrates our commitment to the Hunter economy, its workers and businesses, and will deliver a jobs boom for the whole region,” the PM said.
“This investment will also deliver hundreds of thousands of extra tourists to the region, spending money in local businesses, while exporters in the region will be able to access increased freight flights into new international markets.
“This funding leverages our significant defence investments at RAAF Base Williamtown, not only creating local economic benefits but also making it easier for the entire local community to travel domestically, and once open again, to travel internationally to many new locations.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack outlined how the program will support Australia’s aviation economy.
“This is another example of the government backing our aviation industry, including airports, to support planes in the air and jobs on the ground,” the Deputy PM said.
“This has included close to $3 million in support to Newcastle Airport to assist with security screening costs, supporting half-price flights to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast through Qantas and FlyPelican and funding to maintain essential flights to and from the airport through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has ensured activity is sustained at the airport and today’s announcement continues to back in this support to drive the economy and to maintain jobs for the Hunter region.”
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton outlined that it will support the Australian Defence Force's capacity to undertake operations, while Defence outlined that the package will support the regional economy via the Local Industry Capability Plan.
“The upgraded lighting and runway will ensure the airfield remains in line with modern industry aviation standards. This is critically important to support the operation of fifth generation aircraft into the future,” Minister Dutton said.
“The improved drainage will allow the Australian Defence Force to support operations through heavy weather events, such as seen in NSW with the recent floods.”
[Related: ADF flight simulator approved for civil use]