Greater Shepparton City Council and the Federal Government will inject nearly $1 million into upgrading Shepparton Aerodrome.
Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum made the announcement on Wednesday which will see the government splash $452 000 into the vital upgrade as part of the Regional Airports Program while the council will contribute the remaining $448 000.
Mr Drum said the upgrade would include restoration of the airport’s northern taxiway and the construction of a new larger taxiway to accommodate modern aeromedical and emergency services operations.
“Medical services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Air Ambulance are incredibly important to our regional communities and I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to successfully advocate for this funding,” Mr Drum said.
‘‘This project will really add to the safety areas around when we have emergencies here in the Goulburn Valley.’’
He said an extended taxiway and increased safety aspects around firefighting equipment would make sure that in the event of a fire or aeromedical emergency Shepparton would have the facilities to cope.
“An aerodrome is symbolic of a regional growing city and Shepparton is a very dynamic city so it is only right it has an airport that is moving from strength to strength,” Mr Drum said.
More then 6000 emergency evacuations take place at regional airports each year with about 350 in Greater Shepparton each year.
As the owner and operator of the aerodrome, Greater Shepparton City Council will oversee the upgrades which Mayor Seema Abdullah expects to begin in August and be completed within the next 12 months.
“The Shepparton airport plays a critical role in the emergency services in northern Victoria, acting as a vital link for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Ambulance Victoria and as a hub for the CFA firefighting aircraft during the fire season,” Cr Abdullah said.
“This aerodrome plays a vital role in our community, and council has worked closely with the advisory committee of the Shepparton Aerodrome and Civil Aviation Authority to develop a plan for the works that would be involved using this funding.”
The Yarrawonga airport also received $137 000 in Federal Government funding as part of the four-year $100 million Regional Airports Program.
It is believed services at Shepparton Aerodrome will not be interrupted during the construction works.
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