TAKING OFF: Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour at the announcement of funding for an upgrade to Hervey Bay Airport.
TAKING OFF: Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt and Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour at the announcement of funding for an upgrade to Hervey Bay Airport. Carlie Walker

UPGRADE: $26 million airport project taking flight

HUNDREDS of jobs are set to be generated after a multi-million-dollar upgrade to Hervey Bay Airport was fast-tracked by the Federal Government.

The additional infrastructure is set to help attract aviation businesses such as Astro Aero, an aircraft factory that will produce up to 25 planes a year on the Fraser Coast.

The project is worth $12million and will create up to 200 jobs.

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt yesterday announced the airport upgrade would receive $9.1million from round three of the Building Better Regions Fund after the Fraser Coast Regional Council applied for funding for the project.

"This project is a great outcome for the Hervey Bay community as it is expected to bring more than 500 jobs into the local economy,” he said.

"The $26.6million project will deliver both stages of a two-stage redevelopment of the Hervey Bay Airport with improvement of all infrastructure for the main runway and taxiways.”

The project is set to be a key economic driver for the Fraser Coast, the region's Mayor George Seymour said.

"This funding will kickstart the first step in a staged $26million redevelopment of the airport to create a new aviation subdivision to house an aviation sector including aircraft construction and support industries.

"The development of the project has been a combined effort of staff and councillors over a number of years.”

Work on the existing runway covers pavement reconstruction, new lights and rejuvenating the taxiway to the terminal used by daily commercial flights.

Plans for the Avion Precinct include taxiways to connect the runway to the precinct, earthworks for internal roads and services to develop the first five airside lots for aviation-based businesses.