The process to extend and expand Merimbula Airport has started with Bega Valley Shire Council seeking expressions of interest from design companies for Merimbula Airport runway and terminal upgrades.
Council plans to extend the runway to the north by 200 metres and resurface the safety area at the southern end of the runway. It also plans to enlarge the terminal.
Funding from the state government of $4.4m will be used for the runway work. Designers are being sought to assist in ensuring the work will meet CASA guidelines. Bega Valley Shire general manager Leanne Barnes said widening of the runway or associated areas would not be necessary and that there would be no impact on Arthur Kaine Drive.
Work on the runway is expected to start in the current financial year.
Designers will also be looking at the terminal building, which has long been recognised as in need of an upgrade.
“The airport terminal has problems with white ants and is well past its use by date. We are looking at improving passenger comfort,” Ms Barnes said.
“Council has been funded to upgrade the terminal with baggage screening,” Ms Barnes added, confirming that screening would be part of the terminal upgrade.
“It’s about the weight of planes not about the numbers of passengers. It will be needed for ATR 72s or Q400s or if Rex (Regional Express) upgrades to larger planes in the future,” Ms Barnes said.
The terminal upgrade is funded through a federal government grant of $1.2m, announced when the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Merimbula prior to the federal election. Council is also providing $1.2m funded from the passenger fees at the airport.
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