Bay airport’s jobs-rich upgrade begins

WORK is underway on the upgrade of Hervey Bay Airport.

The 11-month project will include the refurbishment of the runway and improve the airfield lighting.

The work is being carried out as part of the Hinkler Regional Deal.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development Nola Marino said the runway redevelopment would create up to 200 jobs at its peak.

"The project under the deal will provide an important boost to local businesses with up to 200 people working on the project for up to nine months," Ms Marino said.

"There will be significant employment opportunities for local contractors to be engaged for civil works, traffic control and machinery operations, which includes sourcing materials and equipment from local suppliers."

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said delivering the project was a key priority under the Regional Deal.

"This is the first major upgrade of the Hervey Bay Airport since the runway was lengthened to allow for the introduction of jet services about 15 years ago," he said.

"The works are vital to ensure the airport continues to meet the required national design and safety standards to service residents and visitors to the Fraser Coast."

Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor Everard said work had now begun to prepare the site for upgraded lighting and pavements to be installed.

"Site preparation has begun with the lighting upgrade due to start at the end of the month and be completed by early September," Cr Everard said.

"The subsequent stages will involve overlaying the runway pavement and rejuvenating the taxiway and aprons to the terminal used by both commercial flights and the Avion precinct."

Cr Everard said the council was committed to minimising the impacts to the community, businesses and airport services while the work was carried out.

"Some lighting upgrades will be done during the day while the runway renewal will happen at night meaning there should be minimal to no impact on commercial passenger flights," he said.

"All works will be monitored closely by council with regular communication to occur with nearby residents and businesses.

"We thank everyone for their patience while this important work at the airport is carried out."

Cr Everard said the runway renewal project was starting later than first anticipated due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for detailed contract negotiations.

"This is a complex project and we've taken the time to make sure we get it right," he said.

"Public safety is of utmost importance and a project like this requires specialist technical expertise, significant experience and careful planning."

The Hervey Bay Airport runway renewal project is being supported by a $9.19 million grant through the Australian Government's Building Better Regions Fund and is a key project in the Hinkler Regional Deal.