Major upgrades to the Hervey Bay Airport's runway, funded under the council's next budget, are tipped to ensure economic growth in the aviation sector continue.
Major upgrades to the Hervey Bay Airport's runway, funded under the council's next budget, are tipped to ensure economic growth in the aviation sector continue. Alistair Brightman

Why council is spending $14million on Bay airport

RENEWING the Hervey Bay Airport's runway will help ensure the continued growth of the Fraser Coast's growing aviation precinct, a Fraser Coast councillor claims.

Of the council's record $119 million capital works spend in the upcoming budget, $14 million will be allocated to renewing the runway.

Another $1 million will be allocated to developing the Avion Aviation Precinct at the airport, where plane company Astro Aero will be constructing a new aircraft manufacturing centre.

Speaking to the Chronicle on Thursday, aviation councillor Paul Truscott said the continued development of the airport was a key economic driver for the region.

"Aviation is a great development growth area throughout the region... this upgrade will make sure the runway stays operational," Cr Truscott said.

The announcement follows a $9.1 million grant from under the Federal Government's Building Better Regions project in March to fast-track the project. When asked if the upgrade would help attract more flights to the region, Cr Truscott said any increases on flights came down to commercial demand and viability.

He said airline services had remained stable after a flight schedule re-shuffle in October last year.

"We want to make sure we maintain those services we do have and if we can continue to grow those," he said.

"It comes down to people wanting to use the services, we need to make sure our relationship with the airline is good."

The council's capital works budget also includes funding for a new Maryborough administration building and the development of the Hervey Bay CBD.

An article in yesterday's edition of the Chronicle had council's capital works budget as $199 million. The Chronicle understands the actual amount is $119 million and apologises for this error.